Are you a Respiratory Therapist? Do you blog?

January 15, 2006

I am creating a list of RCP / RRT / CRTT bloggers. There’s nobody on the list at the moment except for me, and I barely count since I’ve not practiced in a decade. But I’m looking forward to hearing from other RT bloggers!

149 responses to “Are you a Respiratory Therapist? Do you blog?”

  1. […] Rhonchi.com is getting comment spam! That was pretty fast. Luckily Spam Karma 2 protects it! There’s more lung-y news out there than I ever could have anticipated. I still have not heard from any RT’s who blog, but c’est la vie. They’ll turn up eventually. […]

  2. stacie from oregon says:

    Hey dude,
    You are not the only one that has deserted the respiratory field for the duration. I graduated in 1992, after working as an equipment tech in RT since 1989, and left the field, burnt out in 2001. At first, I enjoyed the action, and roaming the hospital (a teaching institution) and seeing the various interesting cases. But it just got so monotonous and boring after a while. And yes, you get no freaking respect from anybody, especially nurses, who inexplicably feel they are above RT’s even though our programs are the same length of time. Luckily the hospital I was working at at the time was very supportive of their therapists, and we had some great protocols to work with, not having to beg for every weaning order, or extra treatment needed asap in the middle of the night. I eventually moved onto peds, and nicu, wanting to “be the best.” But it broke my heart to lose my patients, and after being refused a place on the transport team, I left for a childrens hosptial that agreed to take me on. I had plenty of experience, coming from a teaching hospital, so I expected the same level of performance at the kids hospital. No such luck. The ventilation therapies they were applying, I considered 8-10 years outdated. We had been working with alot of nicu oscillators at the previous hosptial, and they had barely touched them at the kids place. I was shocked, as this was a nationally well known place, and couldn’t even provide proper percussion and postural drainage for their cystic kids. All this frustration, busy work schedules and work illness combined to exacerbate my depression, that had not reared it’s head until I graduated school. I was eventually diagnosed bipolar, and that made it really hard to work, being up and down. Especially since that is the nature of the biz, in critical care, and trauma, etc, my specialties. So, I left the field in 2001, and now in 2006 have recovered about 90% and am wanting to return to health care to teach. I am back at my local community college (albeit in another state) for a nursing degree. I can guarantee you though, you will not find me roaming the floors. I want to work with diabetic education, asthma education and the like. Sure hope it works out for me. any advice is welcome.

  3. Doug says:

    Burn out is common in respiratory therapist. I started working in resp ther in 1972, by 1980 I was getting pretty frazzeled and went to work in a small rural hospital that didn’t even have an ICU, this helped because there were very few emergency situations, few draining casses and a very quiet E.R. I was an RT for 30 years, and still have my license, but I also got tired of the lack of respect and decided to go to school to become a P.A. you know what, registered nurses still seldom show me respect. At least now I have a lot more to say about what my patients get and I’m making a much better wage.

  4. Joe Crawford says:

    Thanks for sharing your stories Doug and Stacie. I would like for others to share their stories as well.

  5. Matt says:

    You get respect if you demand it. I don’t give a rats a_ _ who respects me in the large hospital I work in. Who is the first person everyone calls when someone is coding (before anesthesia) or in resp. distress, us, the RRT. Resp. please call the trauma bay, sound familiar. If a nurse gives me a hard time I give it back but mostly just laugh at them and smirk that their job sucks alot more than mine. You couldn’t pay me enough to be a nurse. The reality is nurse’s are jealous that our job can be less involved and we can do what we have to do, chart it and walk away. I am not stuck at the bedside unless I am manually ventilating or making venilator changes or setting up Nitric Oxide or Flolan, etc… We care for patients that are usually very ill, unless of course we are setting up a routine cpap for a patient, etc… The job of an RRT in the acute care setting is what you make of it, I luckily am at a great institution and I mostly like my daily assignments, etc… Don’t get me wrong, there are days that I have run twenty plus arterial blood gases in the PICU or NICU plus all the ventilator checks/setting changes, fisher paykel heated cannula changes and I am wired for sound. Mostly though it is, “Feast or Famine” when it comes to workload. I am either very busy or sitting on my ass typing this stupid blog comment. Ok, see ya later almost time to leave.

  6. jason says:

    I’m considering going to school for respiratory therapy, but i have heard many stories about low pay(unless you work for travel med agency) and no respect at all. i like the idea of helping people as i used to be a mgr at a med supply company and loved it. Is the school very difficult( i would be working at my current job for 25-30 hrs a week). my wife said its too difficult to go to med school and work at same time. what advise do you have for me and is it true that hospitals dont refer to rt’s as “professionals”? Is the pay pretty good? do most hospitals offer retention bonuses for rt’s?

  7. joe says:

    Hi jason —

    I think the thing to do is to visit a few hospitals and to try and talk to someone in the RT department and get an introduction to what the job entails, and that you’re interested in the profession. Ask all your questions there. I would also advise you to connect with the AARC and your state’s RT organizations.

    Best of luck!

  8. Janice says:

    I am a Director of Respiratory at a local sub-acute unit. I have been there three years and honestly I totally get no respect from nursing or the DON hardly ever. The only time they “respect” you is if someone is circling the drain, or they need a favor. It’s grueling and unfair and yet I am blessed with a staff of 22 therapist I adore and residents whom are more like family over the years. But still- I am faced with considering a career change after ten years of being in the field I still think there’s got to be more out there than managing the “phlegmsuckers”. Any advise from anyone who left resp for something else???

  9. Laurie says:

    I was hoping to read more positive things on the RT end of the spectrum. I guess the reality is Respiratory therapy is a thankless job, with very few good quirks. I have been in the field since 1990. At this time burn out is my name. I moved recently to a small rural hospital hoping for a respit from the hectic trauma of the larger ICU/Hospital. To my surprise this small 25 bed hospital in Minnesota is actually worse than what I was working at in Colorado. They have no clue what respiratory is about. I actually was called the oxygen lady. WOW! what a hit to my ego. Especially after working Air Life, a 25 bed ICU etc. Not only is the pay bad, but the hours are worse. If you want your back patted once in awhile I would highly recommend a large facility with some knowledge base. Better salary, and respect, (if not by others from within yourself). In the meantime I begin my search for a better position elsewhere. So much for lake Wobegone!

  10. joe says:

    It’s great to see folks posting here, though I wish there were more favorable stories to tell with regards to the RT profession.

    Any of you commenters want to blog for Rhonchi.com to talk about your experiences?

  11. Laurie says:

    Joe,
    I agree with you about a more positive outlook, but reality is that the health profession no matter what you are doing is still a very tough job. I think that people need to be more supportive here on this web site, but still allow them to ventilate ( no pun intended LOL). “I love my job, I love my job, I love my job” sounds all to familiar.
    There are some great hospitals out there which respect, admires and shows appreciation for the RT. I have been there and I have seen it first hand. A lot of it comes within the RT dept. So here on this paticular website. It is a great job, but I think it all depends on where you work. Like Matt from a previous blog wrote, You definitely have to demand it!

  12. joe says:

    @Laurie —

    I completely agree — I want this to be a space to vent, positively and negatively. 🙂 Good thoughts, Laurie. If you’d like to do some blogging here just give a holler!

  13. Mark says:

    I blog and I’m a student respiratory therapist.. check out my blog

    rtstudentblog.com

  14. joe says:

    Hey Mark — I added your blog to the sidebar!

  15. Laurie says:

    Does any one know of a Respiratory therapy blog site that lets people who are in the market know if the ratings are good for a specific hospital/company etc.. If a therapist was going to search out the good and bad of dept. where would they go for that RTs’s experience whether they were a traveler or permanant employee? Let me know. Thanks

  16. Joe Crawford says:

    Laurie — that’s a great idea. Sadly, I don’t know of any such site for RTs. Not a bad idea. Anyone else interested in something like this?

  17. Robert says:

    Interesting blog. I’d have to agree with most that the field of Respiratory Therapy is shit. Sorry Laurie and Joe. I’am embarassed to say that I’ve been working as a Respiratory Therapist since 1979 and I have nothing good to say about it at any level. Its all “Shit”and I would not recommend working as Respiratory Therapist to anyone, including my worst enemy. I am considered a positive and well educated individual who does not curse, but the only adjectives that accurately describe Respiratory Therapy are four letter words, and the nicest four letter word I can think of is shit! What everyone has so far stated is true. The amount of bullshit in the field can only be explained in exponential terms. Its starts with the incompetent instructors who teach you, the greedy organizations that misrepresent you, the coworkers that dump on you, the employers who take advantage of you, the pay that undermines you, the hospital staff that demeans you, and the patients that piss, shit, bleed and cough on you as well as inhaling their unnecessary breathing treatments with them; and don’t forget constantly being harased to prove the skills you learned but can never use, with continual CEU’s, CPR, ALS, hospital inservices, mandatory dodo meetings, and overpriced conferences that at best induce comas. To those who read this and desire to become an RT, heed my warnings and move on to something else.

  18. Joe Crawford says:

    Robert — thanks for your thoughts. It sounds like you need to make a career change away from RT if it makes you so unhappy. I will say there are working situations for RTs that are much more favorable and have more respect, but your words do not shock me anymore. Sadly, health care keeps getting squeezed financially — and that sh*t runs downhill, as they say. I wish you the best.

  19. eric says:

    we dont get any respect seems to be a recurring issue with rts. my answer to that is why do you need respect? honestly, do you need someone to pat you on the back to make you feel better? be grateful you have a good job, do it to the best of your ability and take the money at the end of the week with your head high. and whatever you do dont wipe any asses , thats the nurses job.

  20. Robert says:

    Hello Eric,
    Thank you for your reply. However, your
    mentality represents why the field hasn’t progressed much over the decades. You appear as a trained monkey who does what their told for the paycheck, requiring no respect. I’d bet your propably one of the lowest paid employee’s of your department. But, keep jumping through the hoops, I’m sure a raise is just around the corner. Your definition of a good job and mine are obviously different. I need to have influence on the work I do, as well as the respect of the people I work with. You can give the Q2 normal saline treatments, check the unweaned ventilators, and set up the 95 year old 17.5cm home CPAP system. The field is full of sheep like yourself who will do it for a paycheck. I won’t and that’s how I hold my head up at the end of the day.

  21. Lauren says:

    Robert,
    It’s amazing that Mark, the student, who posts a blog on his experiences through clinicals is more optimistic about his future career as an RT. than you are about a profession you’ve been in since 1979. I am twenty years old and plan to start the respiratory program at my local community college in the fall. I first came across Mark’s blog on his thoughts of becoming an RT and his experiences in the field…then I came across this blog, where people are just trashing on the profession. Since most RT jobs only require a 2 year degree why would you complain about the pay and lack of respect you feel you’re shown at the hospital? Truth is, I agree somewhat with your statement about respect from co-workers being important but I also agree that one should be thankful of having a secure job in healthcare. Anyone with a positive thing to say about RT, should post a blog and give me some reassurance in my decision. (My blog wasn’t intended to be rude but, I do still have time to change my decision and become an RN…)

  22. Mike says:

    Hello all, I have been a therapist for about 20 years now. I agree that all jobs have its shares of ups and downs. Yes working holidays, nights, weekends is a drain. But this is the field we choose. I also agree that there are demeaning people out there, but I am also a trained lawyer, and the same crap you hear complained about on this blog, are also in the legal field. If you are totally about money, wrong field. If you enjoy helping people, welcome.

  23. Robert says:

    Hey Mike,

    Your right most of us choose the field we work in. Almost 30 years ago I chose this field through research and talking to a few people who worked in RT. It sounded pretty good until I actually worked in it. I’ll spare the details, but at every level of this so called profession I have been disappointed and often disgusted. You have been in it for 20 years, you should know what I’m talking about unless you are like most RT’s I’ve worked with, working drones with no interest in self improvement or professional advancement. I wish most of the people I worked with stayed at Wal-Mart and Burger-King. I beileve most organizations need people who can’t see beyond their face, so they created RT’s. I chose another field and only work prn. All my classmates I’ve heard are also out of the field. Working prn helps with the vacations and Christmas presents. Although many times I thought about mailing the NBRC my license and telling them to stick it in a dark hole. I’m very surprised you went to law school, but work as an RT. Did you know the bar exam is cheaper to take and you don’t have to retake it in five years. I could go on an on about what an embarresment this field is. Do I sound a little upset? Of course I am! It’s the result of working in the healthcare environment, thank God I’m out! I’m surprised most RT’s put up with the nonsense. As far as helping people, like you,I went into the field to do that, but I have made more difference in peoples lives outside of the healthcare setting. An example, How can anyone help the sick giving 30 treatments ,caring the ER pager, and doing EKG’s. At the end of the shift you don’t want help them, you just want to smack them silly and tell them to go home. My way of helping people is making them aware of what RT is really all about..

  24. joe says:

    In reply to Robert — it sounds like you have a grudge. But it also sounds like you stayed in environments that really sucked. Your disdain for fellow RTs is pretty palpable. I’m not sure why it’s so important for you to warn people away from being RTs, I know there are RTs who would be happy to recommend their own experience to other people. Your experience is not the sum total of what it means to be an RT. To claim otherwise is simply lying.

    To people investigating RTs – talk to RTs in a number of different settings, look at the responsibilities they have, listen for how they are regarded by other medical staff, see how seriously they take education, and judge for yourself.

  25. Julie says:

    Hello from Montreal ! I can’t believe that people are SO trashing this profession. I’m only a first year student but damn, maybe it’s also because I’m not in the States, but up here the job is great. We are able to work in 4 different sectors : anasthesia, icu, respiratory care either in hospitals or at home and pulmonary functions diagnosis (sorry, i’m not to sure how it’s called in english). Do you guys have the same fields of practice ?

    Anyways, I just wanted to share my love for the job ! Call your local hospital and ask if you can have a day of observation with an RT, you’ll know fast enough if you like it or not ..

    Julie

  26. While in my Sophomore year in high school at the age of 15 I started in Inhalation Therapy as an O2 tech back in 1973. The new thing that year was IMV using the anaesthesia bag and bird one way valve.
    I have been in the field since that time. I have worked every specialty including NICU, Hyperbarics, Peds, Critical Care, Trauma, Sleep, Department Director, classroom and clinical teacher, home Health, and I was also a program director at a local RT school. Today I only work one 12 hour shift per week as an RT, the rest of the time I sell fishing products on-line.

    I love being an RT, always have, always will. I do the 12 hour shift for fun and to keep my skills intact. I enjoy going to work, and I always have. At my age what I have grown to hate is working holidays, and weekends. I love to fish, and I am very active in that area, hence my decision to get into e-commerce.

    To this date, I have never felt “burn out”, in my years I have come across a few RNs here and there that had no respect for RTs, but upon careful examination, those RNs, like other people in other professions, including RT, had no respect for anyone, and at times including themselves. Most were un-happy people that had no lives in or out of the hospital, people like this, I avoid. Negativity breeds more negativity, God knows there is enough of that. Surrounding one’s self with negativity keeps you in a rut, and deprives you of both professional and monetary success. I don’t have time to waste, I like to learn, I love $$$, and I love spending, so I go out of my way to distance myself from things that are going to keep me from learning and making $$$.

    As far as burn-out goes, I don’t believe in it. I think burn-out is a result of getting into something that wasn’t your “niche”. As far as respect goes, I think that is earned, obviously you can only earn respect from those who respect themselves first, and second they must have the education and knowledge to recognize knowledge and talent when they see it. If you have the talent and knowledge you will earn respect. When you possess both, you need not worry about those who don’t respect you because those that don’t are incapable of doing so, because they lack the talent to recognize talent.

    Live life to the fullest and have fun. If you are reading this because you are considering becoming an RT. I urge you to DO SO! Respiratory Care has been a very positive thing in my life, it has brough me happiness, and much success. I strongly recommend it.

  27. Dennis Carreiro, SRT says:

    Wow! I am SO thankful that I have never run into anyone like some of you during my clinicals! I can’t say that I am surprised that you hate what you do, your attitude sucks. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the field that I have chosen. I am going to be entering my second year of studying and after struggling through high school and some college with C’s….I’m making Dean’s List now. I finally found not only something that I am interested it, but something that I am good at.

    I refuse to let your negativity affect me,and so to offer a ray of sunshine to those who are debating this field, I LOVE IT!! And after the first few months of school, you will know if you will love it to. I have been fortunate to have a completely different experience than that of Robert and others. Even as a student, I am respected and encouraged. Go for it!!

  28. Dennis,

    Congratulations on a great career choice. I wish you all the best in your endeavors. This is a great profession and you will get the blessings that come with it.

  29. […] see my moribund respiratory care site, Rhonchi.com, be active these days, particularly this post: Are you a Respiratory Therapist? Do you blog?—which was originally supposed to be a post trying to find RTs who blog, but has turned into a […]

  30. Cstep says:

    As for me, I am just now graduating from respiratory school and have found a job… I have run into alot lot lot of people who have trashed the profession as well! Its amazing to me why people stay in a place where they are miserable for thirty and fourty years! Thats more that half or most peoples lives. I dont believe in spreading negativity but I have as well chosen to go back and abtain my bachelor’s degree in something totally different because of the things I have learned in my two years of respiratory school. My advice is that respiratory is a great stepping stone to something else in the medical field and I highly recommend using it for such, but if you are looking for advancement, prestige, and job market…plan for alot more college.

  31. Robert says:

    WOW! I seemed to have stirred up some controversy, which is good and should be the purpose of this blog. But, my attitude remains the same concerning the JOB of Respiratory Therapy. Hey gang, I’m not a negative person. You guys need to reread my comments which are directed toward the field of RT. My comments are more realistic then negative. If I speak bad about the field its because thats how I see it (reality) not because I’m negative. I’m sure we can all agree that shit stinks. Are we negative because we said something bad about shit?? On the contrary, I view myself as a very content and positive person and live a comfortable life. I’m sociable and contribute to my community. I feel the people in my life care about me, as I do them. So lets get off the notion about me being negative and focus more on the reality of Respiratory Therapy. After reading your comments, not one of you gave specific detailed reasons why the field is so positive! Dennis Carreiro wrote ” I LOVE LOVE LOVE the field I have chosen “, and wants to offer a ray of sunshine to those wanting to enter the field. Dennis, my thoughts are you are a ding bat, and I agree we should never meet. Your a student, your opinons mean nothing concerning this field. Your so called ray of sunshine is more like a pair of sun glasses blinding the truth. Get some experience before commenting on the field or at least be more specific on why you like the job. You could say “I enjoy giving CPT to patients with UTI’s. That is, I’m assuming you know what a UTI is. Louis Jimenez, you represent what I wrote about earlier, the RT drown. Day in, day out, neb here neb there, check a vent and go to the ER. Blah, Blah, Blah,. Thats why its a job. The field is full of drowns like yourself and thats why the field of Respiratory Therapy will never change. Joe, no grudge here, although I understand why you would write that. Honesty, grudges are nonproductive, and I don’t have time for them. I am angry with the time I wasted doing RT, but so be it, I’ve moved on. Julie your from Canada and a student, know more needs to be said. Cstep! If a lot of people trash the field wouldn’t that be a red flag to most. Also, I never stayed in a field I was miserable in. I’m very happy doing what I do now. Hopefully you will be to with the new career your searching for. Did everyone read what Cstep wrote? He has just graduated and is searching for something different! I guess he doesn’t LOVE LOVE LOVE RT like Dennis. My advice, don’t waste your time. Follow your heart, take risks, and be happy. The so called RT stepping stone maybe be quicksand.

  32. Cstep says:

    These are some of the funniest comments to read on the web. I wonder if there is any one person who is happy with the career choice that they have made…? You know, I have even talked to alot of doctors, lawyers, nurses, etc.., who wish they would have chosen something else…mind you its not respiratory, but being happy for me comes from family and friend time, serving God, and enjoying life. We don’t have long to live on earth and few things really matter in the end. Keep that in mind when you look at your next paycheck! For those who love love love respiratory, you are the future of the field and can change the way people view it! Go turn respiratory into the job that you want it to be and maybe the negativity will cease!

  33. Robert,

    A drown? With all due respect my friend, you have no clue. A field that doesn’t change? See this is where you have missed the boat. Your attitude has blinded you, and on your blind ride you have missed much.

    This field has been about change since it started! Respiratory is the MOST dynamic of all the allied health fields you can get into. CPU’s have forever changed the face of respiratory. The innovation of new modes,(PCRV, etc.) and the revival of old modes such as NEEP (Exp. Assist) are keeping this field on an upward trend with change after change. New medications, medication delivery devices, etc. If you can’t see that, then you are blind, or working in the wrong place. I must agree with you on one thing, not all departments are as progressive as others, HOWEVER that is not always because the therapists don’t want to be, a lot of the times it has to do with the hospital and it’s budgetary restrictions, HOWEVER in those hospitals, nursing, radiology, lab, etc. are all in the same boat, so the problem is usually hospital wide, not just respiratory.

    Today health care budgets are a reality. In other professions, not just the medical ones, other budget realities are/shall be coming into play, so hang on, this new job/new found happiness of yours may tank.

    I have no idea where you are now or what you have accomplished, however just because you couldn’t make respiratory happen for you, doesn’t mean someone like myself, or anyone else who is being successful is a drown. I have accomplished much, and have a lot to show for it, but most importantly I am happy, enjoy life, have seen and continue to see the value of what I do and how it has made a difference in people’s lives.

    I could sit here and write down every single new thing in respiratory since 1973, but I don’t have time, I’m too busy doing more important things other than convincing you that there have been changes. Assuming that someone is going to do that is ludicrous.

    Your post is entertaining to say the least. Your lack of professionalism is obvious, your choice of descriptive “4 letter words”, and other descriptive language opens up a world of perceptions regarding your character, community involvements, and successes.

    By the way, who made you the “God of Reality”? Have you met Dennis? Just because he disagrees with you he is a dingbat? I guess you are the only one who is right about everything and everyone who disagrees with you is always wrong. Most people will agree that being narrow minded is a requisite for failure.

    Cstep, there is no negativity in respiratory, only in those who want it to be there. Negativity is a matter of choice, no one can force you to be negative, or be in a negative place. The medical field is not for everyone. I too know doctors that wish they got into something else, I also know stockbrokers who feel the same way, nurses who feel the same way, and business owners who feel the same way. Cstep, you are right, there are many who are not happy with the career choices they have made, however within those careers there are many who feel they made the right choice, that doesn’t make them dingbats, drowns, or whatever other derogatory description there is out there, including the 4 letter words.

  34. Robert,

    I got your vile reply, but I don’t see it here, however I did get it in my email. There is a reason why you complete the code after you post, it’s called an IP address. This may be a forum, and you may think that anything goes here, however you are responsible for what you write, including slander. IP addresses can be requested to pursue legal actions, in other words, these can be subpoened and the website owner is required to release the information, if not they too can be held liable. If you look at some recent supreme court rulings, one of them dealt with slanderous comments on a forum. I suggest you do some research on this and that you govern yourself accordingly.

    It’s called pressure regulated volume control, the Maquet Servo has it, and the second thing is called expiratory assist, and it is a NEEP. The Cardiopulmonary Venturi ventilator has the exp assist mode. Exp assist is a NEEP that is applied to the first 20% of the expiration to decrease exp airway resistance, it also helps to decrease inadvertent PEEP.

    A note to the board moderator, I appreciate you deleting the post, however you may want to elaborate on the first part of my post. This is something you may want to put on your terms and conditions of forum usage, it it is not already there. There are plenty of internet law attorneys that can help you with the wording if need be.

  35. Robert says:

    Ok fellow Rt’s ( I still work PRN!), I have been pondering for sometime about continuing to respond to Joe’s RT blog (I do hope you recieve it!). But, as a service to fellow coworkers and future RT’s , I strongly think I should, at least one more time. Joe’s Blog is a place for me to vent and and to share my thoughts about a career that has the potential to be respectable and professionally rewarding, but as yet is far far for it. I believe most can tell I am extremely disappointed, frustrated, and in fact embarrased, concerning the job of RT. To me the only difference between housekeeping and RT is what you make and hour. Not to be disrespectful to housekeeping (I love you guys, respect what you do, and believe your job is very important. 🙂 !), However, RT does require a college education (At least a mail order degree!)
    I do have hope that one day RT will be the carreer it was originally designed for. However, so far I view us as subordinates to hospital administration, nursing, and dermotology physicians (Yes, Albuterol does dilate the airways, improves the circulation and gives a warm healthy glow to the skin, at least thats what I’m told!) Our leadership is more concerned about making money then improving the field. Our educator’s have common knowledge of the field and know little about educating students. Our Director’s are middle management that bend over to every hospital demand. Our departments are often in basements usually not to far from the morgue. Currently, most departments are run by nursing who are clueless to what we do. We have no unified protocols, and basically do what we’re told. We continually have to prove our competence, yet can rarely use the skills we learned unless the curtain is pulled.
    It has been this way for years and I see no change (but do hope for it). People like Louis prove it. He calls my last entry vile. In addition, Joe sent me an e-mail and wants me to modify my entry and change my tone before he posts it, as well as asks me to be more polite, or I am not welcome. To update fellow bloggers, I used the “F” word multiple times. I insinuated Louis was a “F” ing retard as well as other comments. I used these words because thats how I felt, frustrated and angry about his ignorance.
    Did you know the FCC will no longer slap indecency fines for using the “F” word because the word is so commonly used for FRUSTRATION vs sexual obsenity. In addition, In March 2002 our great president Bush interrupted a meeting Condoleezza Rice was holding and yelled “Fuck Saddam. We’re taking him out! ” Our Vice president, Dick Cheney once told Patrick Leahy to “Go fuck yourself” on the senate floor. The “F” word is a form of expression and will always be used as such. Thank God for the “F” word, otherwise my knockles would be bleeding from hitting the walls. Our profession often uses the “F” word as well, just listen to any surgen. No Louis I don’t go in a patient’s room and say, “Are you ready for your “f” ing treatment?” Louis , you did not write “PRVC”, you wrote, “PCRV” and my gut tells me it was not a typo. I don’t even want to comment on your statements anymore. Your words prove mine, and now I see you as a baby. I will gladly tell that to your lawyer, judge, jury,mother, father, brother, sister, wife(husband), first born, dog, cat, as well as their fleas ( Come here kitty, kitty. Robert picks up Louis’s cat and yells in his ear, “Louis is a Baby!!) Get the picture! If you desire, I will fly to your home and we can discuss this blog over milk and cookies.
    However, to be fair, I will say my words were aggressive and somewhat “Jerry Springher”, For that I apologize. I NEVER met to insult or hurt anyone, I’m just responding to words and a long history of RT bull*&% ! Joe, I hope you post this? By trying to censor your blog you do your reader’s a great injustice. Let your readers judge, that’s how I learn and they learn. “Freedom of Speech”, through dialogue and expression we all grow. If my last post was so bad, I’m the one with the red face not you. I’m not here to pretend, I do that enough PRN. If you continue to censor, I’m out of here. Speak real issues and the RT’s will come. Is’nt your blog for mature audiences only? I’m sorry but I can’t always be polite to dingbats! Although I will try. I hope the next blog enteries do not batter ego’s, but discuss specific RT issues. Maybe then this blog won’t be viewed by others as a “Bitch session”.

  36. Robert,

    I fail to understand why you feel compelled to criticize and slander others that have a different opinion than yours. You can post your opinions without using foul language, name calling, and making assumptions about fellow professionals that you do not know. You don’t know me, you have never met me, you have never worked with me, you have no clue on what I know and what I don’t know.

    If you used the language you used on here at your place of work, you wouldn’t be working there for long because eventually someone who is offended would call you on it, or even worse file a formal complaint. This would not only be unfavorable for you, but also for your profession.

    I think this entire blog is quite interesting, sadly not too many RTs know about it, because if they did, I am sure there would be hundreds or replies on here. In an effort to make this a more popular blog, I am going to put this out in the community through our state associations. Like you said, contrasting points of view would be good.

    BTW, slander unfounded, and unsubstantiated statements about others is not CENSORSHIP. Joe was correct in asking you to change your tone, which you obviously haven’t. I can read through the lines and your insinuation of the p word referring to a kitten, something I really don’t think you would ever say in to me in person. If I were the moderator or owner of this board, I would have revoked your privilege to post here, not because of your unhappiness with the field, but because of your lack of respect, language, and slanderous remarks. While you have a right to complain all you want, you don’t have the right to slander or degrade others.

    The internet does allow you the freedom to use any language you want, however the internet also affords the website owner to control content as he or she wishes, language being one of them. Despite the freedoms the internet has given us, we are still responsible for what is said and/or implied. I am sure the Disney Channel website wouldn’t allow you to call Hannah Montana an f retard on their website. You can call it CENSORSHIP if you wish, but it isn’t. Last time I checked, being polite, courteous, and professional was not politically incorrect.

  37. Here are some links that may shine a light on some of this:

    http://www.aarc.org/resources/professionalism/

    http://www.aarc.org/career/professionalism.asp

    BTW, the points mentioned in these two links not only apply to Respiratory Care, they apply to all professions.

  38. Sputum_maker says:

    I have had a persitent productive cough since, well….Thanksgiving! 🙁 Have had 3 courses of antibiotics; Z-Pack, Amoxil and then Levaquin 750mg. to no avail. My doc thinks it’s viral and is just telling me to continue with my Advair and to increase my rescue inhaler to 2p QID. My asthma is well controlled w/ Advair alone. I have no fever and am asymptomatic except for this pesky productive cough. BTW my white count is WNL. Any thoughts???

  39. joe says:

    @Sputum_maker — maybe get another Physician’s opinion?

    As site owner, maybe I need a disclaimer about any medical case discussion that occurs here. It sounds like you need a second opinion — best gotten by someone who can do a physical examination of you.

    Best of luck!

  40. Salley Fieldwood says:

    I think Respiratory is one of the best professions to get in to. It is very exciting and challenging. I have this attitude because I luckily get to work in a hospital where respiratory is respected and have many protocols. Maybe one day down the road I will go back to school to pursue something else, but for now Respiratory is my field, and I love it!!!

  41. Jennifer Setinek says:

    Hi, WOW!! I guess no one can say that Respiratory therapists aren’t opinionated!!
    I’d just like to pre-empt my discussion with this thought: After more than 5 years in the field- somedays I love being a RT and somedays I get in my car after work and just cry. Here’s the thing— I’ve found, as an agency therapist, that my love or hate is directly tied to the institution I work for. If you hate the hospital, hate their protocols, think your fellow therapists are a bunch of mindless drones, and think worse of the management, nurses and physicians– go work somewhere else. You spend more time at work than you do at home and these people and this job become your first family. If you hate it every day- please, for everyone’s sake, go try a new dynamic!!! Now- if you hate the patients, and their families, and can’t stand people anymore– for everyone’s sake get out of the field!!! Even when I’m most upset about a stupid new policy or being undermined by a nurse, I take joy in taking care of my patients that are sick, who look forward to my coming and helping them breathe and also in knowing that I helped save someone’s life, EVERY SINGLE DAY!! I know that half our patients don’t need albuterol, but it’s the few that truly do that make me happy. I know that all those 95 year olds should not be intubated, but it’s the trauma patient that has a massive head injury that I see six weeks later talking to me that I take delight in, don’t you???

    Okay, and with that said- please read my link about why I’m being forced to leave this field…. (ha! bet you didn’t expect that,did you?

    http://artlung.com/blog/2006/01/15/are-you-a-respiratory-therapist-do-you-blog/

    I’m at the bottom- Sick in Chicago, jennifer

  42. Jeff says:

    I’m looking for an RT school in Georgia I live about 30 minutes north of Atlanta, is there something I should look for. I see everst school every place I look. Is this school any good? Is there a certain accreditation I should only look for. Some schools it seems that you have to give them a lung just to get in. Any suggestions on an online class. Please help, I have been out of work for over 2 years from an injury that now I have fully recovered from. The old field I worked in was computers and for me to get back in I would need a degree which I do not have and I’m not getting any younger I’m in my 40’s and was always interested in the medical field.
    Thank you for any help.

  43. CC says:

    WOW!! To all of you looking to start a career or have just started a career in respiratory, Keep It Up! We obviously need fresh new faces and attitudes to represent our profession. Yes I said profession. I love my job. I work with some of those that are burnt out and there is a good reason why no one respects them. If you act like you enjoy your job and respect the people you are working with, that is how you will be treated. That really goes for llife in general. Misery likes company so stick with the positive people. Anyway. The profession itself is growing rapidly. It is suppose to grow 19% by 2016 that is far more than the average growth for a career.

    Well Good Luck!

  44. CC, great to read your post. Glad to see a positive post. I feel like you do about our profession, and have felt so since 1973.

  45. Jeff says:

    Does anyone have any advise for my post it is number 40.

  46. Joe Crawford says:

    The best way to check out a school is to actually go to it. Take a tour, talk to the instructors, talk to some graduates, etc. I’m not sure anyone at random will be able to help. Good luck!

  47. Jeff says:

    I was basically looking for what certain accreditation I should look for in a school. nobody at random will be able to help with that?

  48. CC says:

    Like with any profession you want to be sure that the school is seen by the state of GA as an accredited school. When I graduated I received my AS in Respiratory and was eligible to take the CRT and also the RRT. Once you have atleast the Cert you can work however I would recommend that you just take you Registry as soon as you know you have passed the CRT. I know in my state of FL a certain University has offered a transfer option for those wishing to get their BS, which I would also recommend. These are all things that we can do to improve the respect and knowledge of our profession.

    Jeff, as for not getting any younger, you can be 50 and have a degree or you can be 50 and not have one. I know it can be intimidating but it will be like that for any career you just have to make that first leap and once you get your feet wet it’ll all be over before you know it.

    If you know an RT or can go meet one ask where they went to school. Most community colleges offer AS degrees in respiratory and if you go straight to the university level you can get it all in one shot. Go For It!

  49. Jeff says:

    Thank you cc & joe that was a big help.

  50. Heather says:

    Wow, I’m a little late coming into this, but this really got under my skin. Hopefully, Robert, our profession will be the career it was originally designed for, whatever you think that is, when people like you and the others who hate being a therapist are doing something else. Therapists like you are holding our profession back. What exactly do you think our profession is supposed to be? Are we not supposed to blow nebs, check vents & go to the ER? Doing those things, among others, is being a therapist! Negativity & the “don’t give a sh*t” attitudes like yours are what is holding us back. It may possibly be the reason you didn’t get respect & you felt you had no influence on the work you did. So if you really feel that you have wasted all of these years & are embarrassed by being an RT, go do what you like full time & don’t take the PRN hours from some drone (drown is to die by suffocating in water or another liquid. Might want to try out spell check.) that may need the hours to help pay for their Christmas presents and vacations. I guess I’m a drone also, but instead of mindlessly going about my tasks, I enjoy my job. I like taking care of people in the hospital & then seeing them out in public after they have recovered & if they don’t recover I miss most of them & have even cried over several. I even love the patients that piss, shit, bleed and cough on you because they are truly the sick ones that needs a good RT by their side. Thank God for PPE, though! I like sitting & chatting with the little old ladies when I have an extra five minutes and yes I do make time for that. I like teaching Mom’s and Dad’s about their sick childs illness. I love the excitement of the ER. I love educating patients and their families about their disease process. You’re right, we are not given respect, nodody is. You have to earn respect for yourself and only then will you earn the right to influence the care you are giving.

    To all of you wanting to know what being an RT is like, here goes. It is a very high paced, stressful, rewarding job. There are days that nothing goes right. Days you want to come home & cry, kick the cat, pull the covers over your head & never come out. Days your body & mind ache. Days you want to blow up the place you work. Days you want to strangle your coworkers. All professions have this though & if you are looking for the perfect career you will never, ever find it. Being a RT is all worth it, though, when a patient thanks you for saving their life. It’s worth it when the patient who was on deaths door a few days ago is walking out of the hospital, better because you did something to help them. It’s worth it when a doctor looks at you and says “you saved his life.” It’s worth it when a Mom thanks you for teaching her about her child’s asthma. It’s worth it when you have resuscitated a near drowning patient. It’s worth it when a patient’s daughter tells you “Thank you so much for helping Moma.” It’s worth it when you hear your six year old tell her friends “my Mommy saves lives” & “I want to do what Mommy does when I grow up.”

    Good luck to all of the students and even to the disgruntled therapists, I hope you find what will make you happy.

  51. NScott says:

    I am a Respiratory student. I am 23 and work in sales right now to pay my way through school and pay my bills. I do not like sales but it does what I need it to do for the time being. I have read all the entries on this blog and I think that your career or job is what you make of it. Most people on here that complain about the job surely have reasons why they do it but do you fail to remember at one point while in school or preparing for school you did have excitment about becoming an RT. Burn out in my opinion comes with anything because people need relaxation to rejuvenate and refresh. Now I am sure that someone on here will tell me that I am young and I don’t know anything and should more then likely never comment again but the way I see it is if your dissatisfied then make a change. The people that are bad mouthing the profession should take in mind that respiratory might be a life long dream of some people just like being a doctor, lawyer, or movie star. When you bash the career your bashing the dreams of someone who might be just the very person that helps save your life through respiratory care. You have to be happy in life or settle to live a miserable life. If your in respiratory and hate it—CHANGE. If you are in another career and hate it—CHANGE. I worked in an ER as a tech for 3 yrs prior to sales and worked with doctors, nursers, rts, and all other medical professionals. You know most nurses said they chose the field for money. Most doctors stated that they do make good money but they have a passion for helping the sick. Shouldn’t that be the basis for anyone who chooses a job in the medical profession. The reward is the helping of the sick. Being able to explain something to a patient that they had no clue what it was. Being able to assist in or actually bringing someone back to life. You know the job is a job but not everyone gets to get up and do those things on a daily basis. So coming from a nobody if your burnt out on doing all of that then go find another job because I wouldn’t wont you or your bad attitude working on me in a time of need!

  52. Trish says:

    NSCott – You are pretty insightful for 23!! I’ve been an RT for 16 years; (but not working in Respiratory for the last 2.) As in all jobs, there are staffing issues, budget constraints, leadership issues, and other challenges BUT I feel most of the time that as an Rt, we are just the unsung heroes. RT’s are always the first called to a code, first to the ER, who else is gonna bag that pt during the CT? not to mention when somebody goes into resp distress, WE know what to do; WE jump in to action, and u can bet yer specimen container that there are nurses o’plenty that are SOOOO glad they are not the RT! (not to mention that most nurses are grossed out by sputum- just RT’s tend to be averse to poop) NOBODY goes into respiratory for the limelight, we are the ones that actually join this profession because we want to make a difference, we want to help people! I do ramble on…… It’s a very good profession. Good luck with school!

  53. Robert says:

    Hello everyone. I’d thought I’d stop by and see if anything interesting has been discussed. But to no surprise there is little substance to what I’ve read. Just the same ole boring “Rah Rah” talk. No discussion of the real issues that plague the field, or any creative solutions to improve it. There were no original or challenging ideas or thoughts to ponder in ones mind. I used more brain cells trying to figure out what was causing Sputum Makers pesky cough then any other entry. My advice to Sputum Maker would be to listen to Joe and seek consult from another physician.

    Salley Fieldwood: Your entry was three sentences. In the first sentence you state RT is very exciting and the best profession to go into. However, in your third sentence you state you may go back to school to pursue something else. You seem confused as well as very cutesy and perky, but someone with such a small screen shouldn’t try to describe the big picture.

    Jennifer Setinek: You also give conflicting messages concerning the field.. One day you love being an RT the next day you are crying in your car. This could be the result of to much coffee during the day and a lot of alcohol at night. Just something to think about! But your message really doesn’t promote the field. As I stated 100 times, I know longer work in RT, not because I hate people, or patients and their families, but because Respiratory Therapy has been one big disappointment and offers nothing professionally. But it appears a lot of you need to learn this for yourself. So be it

    Jeff: I’m sincerely sorry concerning your accident and unemployment. But my advice is to get off your butt and be more pro active in the decisions you make in your life especially professional ones. And please don’t play the age card! McCain is in his seventies. Don’t count on others to make your decisions. Do it yourself. If you found this web page you can find a school pick up a phone and talk to someone. I don’t understand anything about your computer field and the need to get an RT degree, but it really doesn’t matter. I wish you luck. RT is a good job, just a bullshit profession.

    CC: No CC, we don’t need fresh new faces and attitudes, we need new leadership and state wide protocols, so the next time a doctor orders NS treatments on an appendectomy, I can say “No Doc its not indicated, but if you insist you can give it yourself.” Physical Therapy has this luxury. CC you are very naive. The wheel is still spinning but the hamster has died. It’s obvious you are young to the field, very impressionable and an easy mold to any department. RT is your new video game, and once you reach a certain level you will soon tire of it and become like your burned out coworkers. When I think of RT and growth rate, I think of mold and fungus. Your stats mean nothing. McDonald’s growth rate this last quarter was just under 30%.

    Heather: Your obviously a little late for a lot of things. If idiots could fly this blog would be an airport and you would be the head traffic controller. You make me laugh and shake my head at the same time. You are the type that holds back the field, not me! You have been bent over so far and have been taking it up the cous-cous for so long you’ve become blind. I don’t know about you but I don’t blow nebs. However, I would love to get one myself. I don’t check vents. I manage them. As far as the ER goes, they can give their own damn treatments. The ER is full of doctors, nurses, and techs who can squirt medication in a neb cup and give it. In fact most ER patients can give it themselves. It doesn’t take many brain cells to give a neb. If an ameba had arms and legs it could give a neb. Your proof of that. I’m not the trained ER monkey that you are. My place in the ER is during a Code. If I didn’t give a shit Heather I wouldn’t be on this blog.. I don’t know about you but I give respect to everyone I meet until proven otherwise. I expect the same. I don’t go to work to earn respect, I earn a wage. “Yes nurse Hachet, may I have the chart when your finished? Please!” Is this your idea of earning respect? Just wondering. Good for you on catching the spelling error. My error on many a late night. Spell check would not have found an error, the word was spelled correctly. Please don’t compare your intellect with mine unless I’m in a coma. I will give you credit on your compassion to patients, but you take it to far. “I love the patients that piss, shit, bleed and cough,…..,” I don’t know what color the sky is where you live, but your statement does not seem normal. I’ve met a number of people with your Mother Teresa attitude who have come into good fortune for a variety of reasons and left without a trace. I guess like everyone else they where there for the paycheck! Personally, I’m not a social worker and rarely have time for the hand holding sessions. Besides, most of the little old ladies think I’m their husband or want to tell me their health history during WWII.. You also discuss resuscitating patients and saving their life. What a bunch of dramatic bullshit. Stop watching TV! I guess if you were off that day the patient would have died. One more thing to ponder, all professions don’t have the negativity RT does. I don’t know where this thinking came from. But the professionals I know are very creative, innovative, and eager to start the day. Perhaps a lot of jobs have negativity but not the professional ones.

    NScott: I agree, your young and appear to know little about the field. However, if RT is a life long dream of yours (I’ll never understand!) then go for it. Give it 110% and perhaps you can be the knight on the white horse and change this field to what it is suppose to be. But my guess is as soon as you start making waves you will be fired, or you will become a complacent drone like everyone else.

    Trish: How come your not working in the field anymore, since its such a good job? And what difference did you make in the years you worked in the field?

  54. Heather says:

    Wow, Robert you are just an asshole who makes himself feel better by putting others down. Have a nice life.

  55. Louis says:

    Heather,

    There are many whose pent up anger is such that they have to insult others. Unfortunately Respiratory Care never went right for Robert, so he assumes that this is the case for everyone. Sadly, he is allowed to post insults, which is beyond blogging. I still fail to understand why such libelous posts are allowed. My nephew is an attorney who specializes in internet law, and there are several cases which deal with a forum such as this one, where insults and labeling of individuals took place. There is one in particular where the lady who posted the insults was sued for libel, and so was the forum where the insults were posted. This particular case has many similarities to some of the posts on this thread. Despite the public nature of a forum, you are still personally responsible for what you write. Allowing such unfounded comments to be posted is treated with the same legal consequence as allowing someone to threaten others with bodily harm, etc. It falls under harassment / stalking. If you look carefully at the terms and conditions of php forums, this is very well documented, hence the recording of the IP addresses. Due to legal issues, forums reserve the right to censor certain type of posts where such behavior is evident, in addition they must agree to reveal such information to legal authorities when required to do so. Failure to disclose or alter such information is illegal. All the search engines have daily snapshots of every single internet page, this can be seen when you click on Cache in the search results, cache is the snap shot, and as you can see it is dated, so while someone may try to alter a page, snapshots can be used to show alterations and the dates when those took place.

    There is nothing wrong with having a point of view, I know physicians. lawyers, mechanics, etc. that feel the way Robert does, and have gone on to other “careers”. Burn out is a reality, it happens in all professions, be it medical or not. Robert has the right to express his displeasure and bad experiences during his tenure as an RT, with that said, Robert does not have the right to call people drowns, drones, idiots, etc. These additional non-flattering comments are a depiction of malicious intent to defame or ridicule, not burnout.

  56. Trish says:

    Robert,
    Wow! Were you feeling a bit loquacious when you posted? Most of the RT’s around here are seemingly less garrulous. But I dirgress… To answer your question, I am no longer in the field due to a traumatic MVA. I suffered from post traumatic avascular necrosis of the acetabulum followed by a THA (total hip replacement) and then a subsequent revision. Bottom line = making it VERY hard to run from floor to floor, as RT’s ALWAYS take the stairs…I did do the home care thing for 9 years, but we were not a “clinical respiratory” program, so my job seemed more retail than clinical. With the exception that we were contracted with 2 area hospitals to perform neonatal, multi-channel, pneumograms w/ esophageal pH monitoring. I had to leave that job because the broad that ended up my boss at the DME was a high-school grad. No college, No clinical background, not even a good speller, but she became our boss! I became “insubordinate” and that is why I am working on orthopedics today!

    Back when I was in the field, I worked for a hospital that was a “respiratory visionary.” We implemented therapist driven protocols in the early 1990’s. We worked well with the ICU/ER and telemetry staff nurses. We were allowed to evaluate and treat. In the ICU, We could begin weaning when the pt’s spontaneous parameters were appropriate, weant to t-piece or flow-by, do ABG’s, notify the doc, and then extubate if appropriate. WE also had Asthma protocls for continuous nebs, and COPD protocls as well. I find change happens when people WANT change and are willing to put forth effort. Nothing is easy. In particular, budgets, capital budgets, staffing, and quality of RT’s largely impacts each and every department. If people want to make change they need to make sure EVERYBODY benefits. Talk to your pulmonary docs, see what kind of protocols are agreeable to them, talk with ICU nursing staff, calculate potential decrease in “vent time” protocols will allow, which in turn will decrease the amount of ICU bed time for that patient -all which translate easily to dollars saved. Those are just my thoughts. Hmmm and I thought you were wordy!! By the way, I am “Sputum Maker” and I still have the cough. 🙁

  57. NScott says:

    I have always had a lot of respect for RT’s after working as a tech in the er several years back. I worked with them often with codes and just talked with them while they gave treatments, etc. What bothered me mostly in the er was the nurses and their bad attitudes. I never come across an rt with a bad attitude regarding their job. The nurses always complain about doing things that they were their for and expected to do because they had a license to do it. I got a bad taste for nursing by working with them day in and day out and watching their attitudes steadily getting worse. I like respiratory and like learning about it. Most of you say that you don’t get enough respect or praise for what you do but I personally think that its a personal satisfaction issue and I might be wrong. I do seem to be the one on here that knows the least. I just think that if your not satisfied move on to something else. Every individual is different. If we were all the same life would suck. Point being not every rt will have the same outlook on the job. Some are burned out, some can’t wait to go to sleep at night to get up and start over tomorrow, and some just do it for a pay check. I actually like the profession. I think its interesting and I love helping people. I think its challenging and most of all I WANT TO DO IT. So from someone that doesn’t know anything maybe when I get done I might make a wave or too if I feel like it and if it leads to me finding another job—so be it. There are hospitals that hire everyday. That is not quiet the attitude I carry but looks like you have to have one to fit in on this blog.

  58. Robert says:

    Hello everyone,

    Heather- Ouch! Opinions vary and if you would like for me to alter my opinion of you then change and cause change. I hope you didn’t kick the cat! I was just responding to your thoughts concerning the job of Respiratory Therapy. If I hurt your feelings, forgive me. I’m sure you’re a 5 star mother, wife, daughter, and neighbor.
    Peace!

    Louis- Please pick up your toys and walk to the nearest exit.

    Trish- I enjoyed reading your post. Thank you. In the late 80’s I worked in a similar RT department. It was one of the few times I experienced job satisfaction and actually practiced RT. However, since then I’ve heard the department has changed and is like most other hospital departments. The therapists now even fetch cooling blankets for the nurses. It’s very disappointing. Your 100% correct that for change to occur people need to want change, and all the key players have to agree. Unfortunately, that rarely occurs. Just read these blog entries. It appears most RT’s today ride unicorns and sprinkle magic dust on their patients. I guess I can’t blame them because they don’t know any better. They lack vision and do what they have to do so they can pay for their flat screen TV’s, Ipod’s, cell phone bills and Wii games. Keep the peasants happy as they say. Please forgive my cynicism.
    I’m very sorry to hear about your MVA and I’m glad you are doing better. A note concerning your cough, and not to be accused of practicing medicine, but some medications can cause a dry cough. It’s just something to consider. I hope you can soon find out what the cause is. Keep me posted. I look forward to more of your entries and you do not ramble.

    NScott- You appear as a nice guy who just wants to help people. So become the RT CareBear you want to be. Go forth and heal thy sick with thy golden nebulizer and sacred stethoscope. Ease the fury of thy raging nurse with such powerful words as, “I’m on my way!”. Repeat the miracle of raising the dead over, and over, and over until the family makes them a “NO CODE”. Raise the consciousness of thy 400lb patient and give thanks to the creation of CPAP, Hoyer lifts, double wide wheelchairs, sunshine stickers and workman’s comp. Use your force to eliminate all doubt and fear from your burned out coworkers. Shine your pen light upon them and give them comfort, bring doughnuts, for they may stop dumping on you and even work a shift for you. Yes, keep your thoughts pure, be proactive and never ask “But why?”. For this, you can join the flock and become a therapist every RT manager will be proud of.. But, if you want to make change it will take more then a wave or two. It will take a tsunami (and MOJO) to put this field back on track. So, get out of the kiddy pool, be a visionary, organize, ask why, learn to say NO, and make a difference.

    To current and future bloggers- I do not mean to appear as an RT bully on this blog. I’m just taking the opposing view. Some of you see me on the dark side of RT. But perhaps I view some of you as such. It is through debate and contention of our thoughts and ideas that change and growth occur.

  59. Trish says:

    Robert,
    I think you have a very intelligent, sardonic, even caustic writing style. I hope that you don’t limit your diatribes to the RT blogs… You may have missed your calling. Methinks you could be making a living writing. People are either going to love you or hate you, but you certainly have a way of provoking people. Good luck to you!!

  60. Louis says:

    Robert,

    Your posts remind me of Al Franken and Michael Moore. It’s what I call BBSI.

    Sorry about the toys man, but I play with them all day, I like my toys. I am very appreciative of the profession I chose, hell it if wasn’t for Respiratory, I wouldn’t have all these toys to play with.

    Robert you have a lot to say about RT, but I have to ask:

    What do you do for a living?

    Tell me why it is so much better than Respiratory? From your writings I gather you must have tapped into some new utopian type of profession / career. I like utopia, so who knows, you may even convince me. I can’t wait to read all about it.

  61. Trish says:

    Touché, Louis!

  62. marie says:

    Well, I just had to put my 2 cents in, I have been in the field for 28 years, and I have to say when I graduated with a RRT, I was working at a children’s hospital and making more than the RN’s, this changed 3 years latter when the Calif. Lowered the education required for RT’s from 2 years ( really 4, I had to have a AS degress before I could apply for the 2 year program at the local JC college) as soon as they did this, the vocational schools started to start their own Respiratory Therapy programs that were 1 year programs (CRTT) and all I can say is that there was a influx of poor therapists in the market, and the pay and respect went away along with it. I don’t mean any disrespect, but the field has gone down the tubes, the AARC and NBRT just want our money, in twenty eight years in this field, I would think our organizations that are supposed to represent us, would have at least elevated to at least have some the power the nurses have. I for one give no money to anything regarding Respiratory Therapy unless it is necessary. I went to a RT, CSRT convention in San Francisco, what a disgrace, the speakers were horrible, the people attending were not there to learn anything and the highlight of the convention was a contest of where to put the rt tattoo, well the picture of it with a big lady in her thong bending over was the winner and was included in there post convention flyer…how is that for gaining respect for the field….we will never receive the respect we deserve until the NBRT and AARC start standing up and DOING something for us… AND we start acting like we deserve there respect …..Oh and what do you think about having to take the ETHICS course that cost me $60.00!!! No one else in the med profession has to take it…it just goes to prove what they think of us. For all of you that love what you do, that is great, however the rest of us who feel differently have a right to feel the way we do. When someone asks me to recommend this job, I tell them the truth, for the same amount of time,… go to nursing school, I guess we all become burned out, but you might as well get burned out making more money

  63. Carrrie says:

    Hi all, I have to agree with what you all have been saying. This brings me to the disgust I have with the NBRC, sorry this is a little off the subject.
    I have been an RT for 5 years. And I was unaware that I needed to renew my credentials w/ the NBRC every 5 years, and it expired. I guess I thought it was just a “club” you payed to be a member of, which I never did since the NBRC never provided anything worth being a menber of. I’m a licensed RCP through the state I live in. The NBRC states I need to jump through several hoops to get my CRT credentials reinstated including re- taking my CRT, UG? Any suggestions.

  64. Monique says:

    Hi, I’m currently enrolled as a RT student… I’m very excited about my new career. I work in a hospital already, so I get to see the job as a RT on a daily basis. And this motivates me to do well in school, so that I can also make a difference in other people’s lives. I think the Respiratory field is very rewarding. At my job, the RT’s are very respected as well as all the other many positions. Currently I’m working as a Lab Tech… I LOVE my job….I might not enjoy every co-worker or every rule, but I go to work for my patients… I love that my patients respect my job as well… I decided to return to school, because I wanted to have more time with the patients and families. I love to be directly involved with the patients. This field is challenging and I’m ready to take it on!!! I wish all students luck… I wish luck to everyone in whatever field they are in. Thanks to all the posts I’ve read them…. They are opinions… And what is so beautiful about America… is that we have so much opportunity here… We can do whatever we want… as far as college and receiving knowledge… to change our mind and move on to another profession.

    Class of 2010

  65. Louis says:

    Monique,

    As you so very well put it, there is always opportunity! That is the great thing about this great country we live in. I am elated that you are doing well in school and looking forward to your new career.

    Back in 1999 I was the program director for a local respiratory therapy school. I haven’t been involved in the educational aspect of our profession for 8 years. I must admit that after reading some of the posts, some concerns have come to mind. As a result I have decided to come out of my “early retirement” and start teaching again.

    I run a non-respiratory related internet business and have been doing so for the last 8 years. During this time I have worked some hours part time on a very limited per diem basis. I have decided to take on an evening classroom teaching position. I think that the profession needs an uplift, and while I may not be able to do this on a “world wide” level, I can surely motivate students in our state, hopefully creating more qualified RTs to take over the jobs of these “unhappy” “un-respected” folks who hate our profession.

    Who knows perhaps this “utopian forever happiness” profession where burn out is non-existent, and everyone is happy happy happy, may recruit our “unhappy” “un-respected” RTs leaving room for those who love and appreciate our profession. I am very sure that a lot of students who feel like Monique will be more than happy to take those “miserable” jobs and make the best of them.

    BTW, I am still curious as to what that “utopian profession” is all about.

  66. Louis says:

    Carrie,

    Yes this is the new thing at the NBRC. In the past this requirement did not exist. Apparently they made up this new rule recently. I think I paid the NBRC the first time and never renewed. Like you, we too have a state license. I found out about this through this blog, I had never heard about it, and neither had any of my co-workers. So this is a new and obscure rule that little to no therapists know anything about.

    You will have to read your state licensure. To the best of my knowledge, most states have licensure, therefore if you decide to move, the state you move in to will recognize the validity of your license. Here in Florida all you need to do is apply if you have a license from another state, no exams, they just check you out and grant you licensure in our state.

    I think the NBRC is going to have to fix this problem. Apparently not too many people know about this. If they persist on taking credentials away, well over time they are going to have zero credentialed individuals, and over time their credential maintanence usefulness would cease to exist, which is what I believe to be the case right now. Given that we have state licensure, I see no reason for a national registry, this is why I never continued my membership in the “club” as you put it.

    The NBRC should have instituted this requirement once the state licensure laws took effect. Doing that now, and catching people by surprise, is not only bad, but also un-professional. I must agree that there are better ways to get this done, than sending notices like you got.

    Given that the NBRC has the important function of writting both the CRT and RRT exams, they should focus on obtaining their profits from administering these, as well as testing materials, and test review materials, etc. I don’t think there is a need to hold the therapists hostage by requiring them to pay for both a national registry and a state license. All states require CEUs, so those that have valid licenses have CEUs and are legal to work in their state. I think the laws of each state clearly state that.

    In our state law, there is no licensure requirement that mandates that I maintain a 2nd credential via the NBRC. The state mandates that in addition to paying licensure fees, I get 24 CEUs every 2 years, and that these are reported. If they tried to take my license away for such a reason, I would challenge this in court. In a jury trial the need to pay a 2nd credentialling body for the ability to work and make a living, wouldn’t go over very well.

    Also, if the reporting of CEU’s to the NBRC were added to our current state law, everyone would have to be grandfathered in, and from that point forward they would have to pay the “club” fees. Basically they couldn’t revoke their license based on a new requirement.

  67. Nscott says:

    Louis–Still no post on that perfect career that one in particular person holds..huh? I wanted to write and get your comments on a couple of things.

    First thing–I am enrolled in a RT program that is online. I started Jan 08 and I will take my Pharm final on Monday of next week. The work has been fairly easy to me except for Pharm. I have medical background which has helped but Pharm was knew all together so I had a tougher time with it. What can you recommend “knowing” and concentrating on regarding any class and do you think online programs are just as good?

    Second–I was an ER tech for several years. I worked with all types of medical professions. I always thought that RT’s stood out. It kind of worries me when I read all the negativity regarding the career when so many in my area think that its a great respectful job. I know that nursing is the “thing to do” for most but I disagree. I worked hand and hand with nurses that hated their jobs but they said they could not afford to change because of the money. I personally think that money is and issue and we all have to have it to live but when it interferes with your compassion and caring and interferes with job performance then you should consider a change. Is all the negativity based on where respiratory was ten years ago verses where its going or has gone. I am not well informed of the background on the career.

    I absolutely love the medical field. Have always but never been given the opportunity to pursue the education in order to obtain a job that I would like until now. I have to say that I have thus far thoroughly been able to understand and comprehend the material in order of completing a respiratory program. I find it hard to believe that people could be so disgusted about the career. I have not walked in the “respiratory shoes” and I do not know the details but it seems as if you love it and take the good with the bad or you hate it because you can’t change it. Correct me if I am wrong but no one job is perfect. There are flaws to everything—every system—-their all man made and man makes mistakes ( all but one the I recall from earlier readings ) but most all do. I say if RT’s have concerns then go to the source and try to change it. With all the complaints on here about NBRC and system problems……is there a possibility of these flaws working themselves out of the system with the right people or not?

  68. Louis says:

    NScott,

    There is no such thing as Utopia, and I guess this proves it!

    As far as on-line programs go, I recommend those for CRTs who want to get their RRT credential, not for someone who is going ground up, but since you had ER experience, you will probably do just fine.

    Pharmacology is a relatively easy subject., but can be tricky. The books don’t do a great job when it comes to this particular subject. I assume that this on-line program has a tutor or counselor assigned to each group of students. I would contact this resource person to see if they can offer you anything that may be of help.

    When I teach pharmacology I start with a review of the nervous system. I focus on the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems. It is important to understand how these nervous systems work, conduction, as well as ACH, COMT, etc. Allergen antibody reactions, inflammatory processes, lymphatics, as well as hemodynamics. The formation of cyclic AMP, and the function of phosphodiesterase is important, as well as Nor-epi, and the action of the alpha, beta 1, and beta 2 receptors. Familiarity with Frank Starling’s law as it relates to the heart/blood pressure/cardiac output, as well as the Fick Equation, which relates how cardiac output, oxygen transport, and oxygen consumption all tie in.

    As far as the negativity goes, you are always going to find that. Sadly, negativity is what most human beings focus on. Most people see the glass as half empty instead of half full. Personally I don’t worry nor do I let the negativity dictate how I run my life, my career, or my business. Had I ever listened to any of the negativity, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I like to hang out with people who know more than me, people who have something to offer, and something to learn from. I avoid people who live in misery, the un-happy, and the dreamers who procrastinate and get nowhere. That type of person will never give you anything worthwhile, nor will you learn anything worthwhile from them, except the fact that you DONT WANT TO BE LIKE THEM. They are the poster childs of who or what you don’t want to be.

    As far as I am concerned you will never hear me say anything negative about being an RT because RT has always been both an exciting and positive aspect of my life, had it been negative, I would be doing something else, and never posted on this board. There is not a day that goes by that either I don’t learn something new, or see something that I thought I knew well in an entirely different light. So, for me the excitement is there, and has been there since 1973 when I started. Over the years this field has changed dramatically, the introduction of computers have really revolutionized the profession, but most importantly will continue to do so.

    Every job has flaws, every profession has flaws, however flaws are circumstances to improve upon and these are not negatives. Turning a flaw into a positive is a good thing, however as I stated earlier, most people like to thrive in the negative, because it’s easier to lay blame than to act. We see this not only in jobs and careers, but also life in general.

    How many times have you heard things like “he was abused as a child” to justify someone being a loser? Like this there are many examples. Hell, if you were abused as a child and you know the pain it caused, what would make you abuse someone later in life? It makes no sense, because all it is is someone blaming the world for their lack of character or their desire to justify their misery and their lack of enthusiasm.

    Life is what you make of it, and so is your job/career. Success is individual driven, you have to want it to make it happen. I have always wanted it this is why I have it, and continue to seek it. Money is good, toys are good, life is good, you just have to live it right to make it all happen!!!

  69. Jared says:

    Hey there,

    I know this post is old, and I’m not even sure if you’re still blogging or keeping up with comments but I found your blog on a Google search and I found the content to be interesting.

    I just began an RT program this past August (I graduate in 2010) and I hope that the profession as a whole has improved since your absence from the field so that I don’t get burnout, although I know it is likely to occur.

    However, that is a chance I am willing to take because I’m totally and completely fascinated by the respiratory system and the idea of being a respiratory therapist.

    Anyways, in response to your original question, I have a respiratory blog located at http://my-rt-life.blogspot.com if you’re interested in reading it sometime or adding it to your list. I know you were asking for RCP’s but I’m close. It’s a blog about the RT program I’m in. lol

  70. joe says:

    Thanks Jared — I’ve added your blog to the sidebar. Sorry for the delay answering.

    I’ve actually been thinking that I need to update this site — not just with posts, but maybe with some bulletin board software to allow conversation and such.

    Anyone reading this have opinions on the direction of this site? Any comments welcome, or if you prefer your suggestions be private, please send email to joe (at) artlung.com . Thanks for reading!

  71. Jared says:

    Joe,

    I like the direction that the site is going now, but I feel that more posts related to RT would be great. Perhaps tells us more about whether or not you went back to school, etc.

    I find that it is difficult to find dedicated RT bloggers. Of course you have the Respiratory Therapy Cave (respiratorytherapycave.blogspot.com) and Respiratory Therapy 101: Just Keep Breathing (keepbreathing.wordpress.com), but other RT bloggers do not post frequently at all. I enjoy using blogs to network with other practicing, retired, and formers respiratory therapists and students, because I believe that you can learn a lot through the advice and experience of others. Likewise, I agree that a message board/bulletin board would be an excellent addition to this site. There are a few RT boards, such as the ones at RTcorner.net and respcareforum.com, but there is a serious lack of members and posts. You seem to have a wide array of current and former RTs that were frequenting your site when you were posting regularly.

    Anyways, that’s just my $0.02. If you have any advice for my RT blog as well, please let me know via Email.

    Regards,

    Jared

  72. Bob A. says:

    I’ve became an RRT in 1976. Worked in NICU, adult care, supervisor in 700 bed hospital, instructor in a technician program, department director… bla bla bla. I left the field in 1994 to persue a career in medical sales; did that untill 2004. Started small business after that. Getting to the point I am consideriing returning to the field and didn’t realize what all I have to do. Refresher course and re-take the written regisrty again. I’m 57 yrs old. Are there many old “farts still out there doing the job? Thoughts and opinions are welcome.

  73. Louis Jimenez RRT says:

    Bob,

    I am an old fart too, currently teaching RT at a local college. My 35th RT Anniversary is 11/26/2008, looking forward to many more rewarding years.

    Like you I currently have a small online retail business, non-medical though. I sell fishing tackle, but given the current economy, fishing is not on everyone’s mind, and sales have been down. So I started teaching 2 classes in the evening. I am really enjoying it. I was doing some per-diem at 2 local hospitals on Sundays, but since I started teaching again, I opted out of the weekend thing.

    The only thing I hate about anything medical is the holiday weekend thing. Teaching has been a good avenue to avoid that.

    Good luck on your return to the profession. Lots of good things happening, and lots of new technologies, with old twists. It seems that a lot of the stuff we were trying to do in the 70s with MA-1s are coming back. The new computer controlled vents have really made a difference in the application of pressure support, mask ventilation, and even the use of neep in expiratory assistance. I think you will find all this exciting. Keep us posted on your progress, I look forward to hearing all about it!

  74. dave says:

    Myself and peers of mine have been through the 4yr RT program and have been working the past two years. Many of us recieved a rude awakening upon entering the field; we were sold a bill of goods about our role and how respected we were in the healthcare industry. Many of my former classmates are currently looking to other career fields or getting advanced degrees. I agree with Robert’s frustration with this profession, because respiratory is unfairly the target of disrespect within hospital systems. We often get closets for departments or offices and if we do get a nice space it’s promptly taken away by another department or whoever wants it; we simply don’t have a voice in the hospital setting and it’s not encouraged by management. Also, one of the most irritating things is that there is’nt much opportunity for professional growth in RT outside of a manager or director of a department. For example, I’ve seen countless Asthma/respiratory disease educator/consultant type positions $$ targeted to and given to RNs instead of RTs all over Texas, when this is what we specialize in. Not to mention, nurse anesthetist are basically trained to be RTs the only thing they have over us is the drug knowlegde/administration which we could learn through additional training but that is closed off to us as a very well paying occupation unless you become a nurse first although it is closer to our skill set (another slap in the face). Although I’m in a better position than before it’s not that much better to have 40,000 in student loans and making about that much. In many hospitals when we are not treated as professionals although many of us are very well educated. Part of me wishes I didn’t get a bachelors degree in this profession.

  75. Louis Jimenez RRT says:

    Dave,

    This is not the case in every single department. I have worked in departments where the opposite it true.

    As far as RNs getting hired for those positions go, that is something the AARC has to seriously start looking at. I have to agree with you on that point. I have been questioning this type of thing over the years, yet it seems that the “pro-active” approach taken by some of the associations hasn’t worked in 20 years, so I don’t see it working in the future. I urge the AARC and the state societies to come up with a different game plan, because running the ball isn’t working, it’s time to go deep and make the pass into the end zone.

    Let me tell you a story about what happened to me. Back in the mid 90s there was a movement here in Florida called Patient Focused Care, (we called it Hocus Pocus Care). The focus of this was to decentralize the Respiratory Care department, and put it under nursing. Immediately the state and the national associations said that we should take a “pro-active approach”, that approach did manage to work in a few places, but not because of it being “pro-active”, but because of some of the incidents which occurred as a result of this “experiment”. By 1995 this whole Hocus Pocus Care thing had tanked, however at the hospital where I happened to be department director, we had this one nurse who managed to convince, UHS, the company who owned the hospital to give this a try. By now it was 1997, and as far as I know, this was the last hospital to ever attempt this.

    Here is what I was told:

    My CRTs had to reapply for their jobs as CNAs.

    Lab personnel were to do breathing treatments as were the CNAs. The lab director was all for this, in fact, she was pushing hard to make this happen. They already ran the ABGs, and wanted to draw them as well.

    RRTs were to work the ICU and NICU. There was no resistance from the directors of both ICU and NICU at that time.

    My RTs that were doing the Echo Cardiograms were now under radiology, which took over the cardiology department. The director of radiology was not thrilled to take on another department, but she wasn’t saying no either.

    The RT department was going to be under the ICU nursing director

    And last but not least, I was not to communicate anything to my department until everything was finalized.

    It just so happens, that the next day I was scheduled for a Chapter RT department directors meeting that the state association put on every month. A chapter meeting is a meeting of the department directors in either one county or a few, depending on the number of hospitals, so it’s more of a local thing than a statewide meeting. At that meeting I told everyone what was going on, everyone said to be “proactive” and that they would bring the issue to the attention of the board. Bring this to the attention of the board did help, read on.

    I went home that afternoon and after careful thought I decided not to be proactive. I drafted a memo to the nursing director outlining each of the points above, and cc’d my staff. After addressing the points, I ended the memo by basically telling here that I am a respiratory therapist first, and that as far as my profession goes, it is NON NEGOTIABLE.

    Needless to say this memo did not win me any brownie points. Ultimately I was given 3 months severance pay because my position had been eliminated. At which time a nurse took over the department, and 2 to 3 weeks later she only had 2 or 3 perdiem staff members left, resulting in no neo or ICU trained staff, a hardship to say the least. At the time they had no choice but to bring in temporary staffing at the tune of $50 an hour, which killed whatever savings they had hoped to accomplish. In addition, they were told by the state board that their idea of having CNAs or Lab Personnel do the breathing treatments was not legal. This was the end of hocus pocus care there.

    I stood my ground and I was not proactive, instead I took the opposite approach. Personally I did not care whether they fired me or elevated me to the position of ICU director, bottom line I was not going to go silently into that goodnight. At the time I was prepared to hit the media, and anything else I had at my disposal. My mission in life was to end this, regardless of personal cost.

    As far as I know, that was the last of focus care in this area, never heard of it ever again. I am not sure if that is something that is going on in other places, but here in South Florida, every hospital that attempted it soon went back to a centralized department with a director. By 1997 the focus care thing had died, and there was ample documentation that the system had failed miserably because the absence of “qualified personnel” had created dangerous patient care issues. In addition JCAHO addressed personnel training, and they added yearly staff age specific competencies. Had UHS done their homework, this would have never happened. This goes to show you that even the “top business minds” make decisions based on emotions rather than fact, so you always have to be prepared for what challenges may come. Given the current desire to “fix healthcare” everyone, including nurses, should be especially vigilant.

    Here is where the AARC as well as the state societies have muscle. Respiratory Therapists are responsible for administering respiratory care, including ventilator care, and advanced life support. The public DOES NOT KNOW THIS!!!! The AARC has never ever promoted the field outside of the professional realm. For years I have been an advocate for using AARC funds to inform the public of our responsibilities and the importance of what we do when people are critically ill or have premature babies. The public’s lack of knowledge with regards to respiratory care fall directly into the AARC’s lap, this needs to be addressed.

    I don’t know if you guys have seen the commercial, but the only mention of Respiratory Therapy that I have ever seen in a public media commercial is the COPD Guide currently being advertised. Pharmaceutical companies are always looking to promote their products, hell they advertise Advair. Why not use an RT in the commercial? CVS uses pharmacists, J&J nurses, hello? This is what the AARC needs to focus on. Public knowledge is very important. It’s time to ask the pharmaceuticals, “what have you done for me lately?”

    Oxygen, intubations, ER scenes, etc. bring hefty drama to any Hollywood movie, why not capitalize on this? How many people out there, other than those with COPD actually know what a respiratory therapist is or does?

    I honestly believe that such endeavors are important and would generate a very positive impact on the profession nationwide. In addition to us RTs, I think this will turnaround some of the stagnation and low morale in some of the departments that are mentioned in this blog. Adversity is not a reason to give up, instead it is a reason to fight back and make things happen.

  76. dave says:

    The last show I saw that mentioned a respiratory therapist was ER. The doctor asked the nurse were was the patient, the nurse responded respiratory is working with the patient and the doctor said “Oh no get him away from there, you can’t leave the patient with them. That’s the type of promotion we recieve on television. Also to have your therapist to reapply for their jobs as CNAs is the ultimate insult; nursing administration must have been behind that one; I would have quit as some of your therapist did. CNAs don’t even need to be a high school graduates. In most cases a RT program awards a AS degree with a bachelors and sometimes a masters as optional. I guess the hospital’s message was that we are uneducated and don’t really have a profession.

  77. Louis Jimenez RRT says:

    Dave,

    That was a long time ago. As of today, that was the last time that the focus care thing was tried. The therapists quit, however they found jobs in area hospitals, and most of them are still working in those jobs that they took back in 97 when this happened.

    The important thing here was standing up for the profession regardless of consequences. This demoralization that you see in some departments is the product of poor leadership. Department managers must take the bull by the horns and make things happen. It’s not impossible. This is when the pro-active approach works, also it’s important to get physician buy in. In ALL of the departments where I worked using all my skills, the physicians were all comfortable with the skill levels of the therapists.

    I have found that in most departments where the moral is low, there is lack of education, as well as lack of knowledge, at times it’s because people are just lazy. I have witnessed this first hand, however I have also seen the opposite. Personally, I won’t work in a hospital where we can’t do the job we are trained to do. I have been lucky in this aspect because I have always been able to work in a challenging environment. My only bad experience was the one I described in my previous post, and in all fairness that was due to one nurse who thought she was going to “change the world”, and I ended up ruining her plans, which is fine with me. If I had to do it all again, I wouldn’t do anything different. In the face of such adversity, I say go for broke, and take no prisoners.

    Dave, Perhaps you may want to consider re-locating. Taking on a travel job may help you find a department that will need your skills, as well as appreciate them. This is not an impossiblity, there are many great departments out there.

  78. Tony says:

    Well, it looks like some things never change. My names Tony, and I’m a former RT (you’re suppose to all say “Hi Tony!”). I got into the field many years ago, and like many of my fellow students, I wasn’t there because I had chosen RT. Literally half of the class was there to appease a judge, social worker, workman’s comp, or a whole slew of other reasons other than wanting to be an RT. None the less, I found employment as an RT to be enjoyable for two whole years. I guess the change happened when I took a full time job, and then the hospital politics started to grate on me. I gave up my social life, enrolled in the local university, and completed my engineering degree. I left RT to become a project engineer for the state highway department. It was quite a change… I went from the world of “STAT!!!!!!” to getting my butt chewed out for completing a report too early (too early!!!). Now, I’m in another unknown profession (traffic engineer), but at least I’m now gainfully self employed.

    I don’t miss the lack of a career ladder and the low pay. I had a great rapport with nursing…they always called me to ask questions, even if I wasn’t assigned to the unit that day. I really miss the people. Even though I had been gone for three years, they were there when I went through my divorce. The best thing about RT was that it allowed me to marry one of the ICU nurses, my current wife. The strange thing is that sometimes, they still call and ask me questions.

    Hospital politics are what they are. Nursing controls the budgets, so they call the shots. CRTT (old school!) RRT, or bachelors? It didn’t really make any difference, as the attitude was “how many more SVN’s are you going to do?” If you want a career in healthcare, go nursing; the pay is better, and there are opportunities for advancement (NP, anesthetist, medical school, etc). If you’re a pre-med, and you want to see what medicine is really, like RT is not a bad choice; you’ll have flexible hours and decent pay during school, assuming the GOMERS don’t scare you off.

  79. Chad says:

    Wow! Where do I start? I’ve been a RRT for 14 years. I worked for a level one trauma center for 11 of those and I’ve also been part time faculty for a local community college on and off for around 9 years. Most of my experience is in a trauma and burn unit and I enjoyed being one of only a handful of people who could call themselves a trauma ICU respiratory therapist considering my state only has 2 such units in it. I earned the respect of my peers and after 4 years in trauma ICU it was not uncommon for new MD residents to approach me with questions concerning mechanical ventilation as they were instructed I was the one they needed to talk to. Although it has had its ups and downs for the most part I have been very happy with my choice. I now have a base wage in excess of $30 an hour and I have made over 80K each of the last 2 years. My wife was also a RRT until a few years back when we both decided to return to nursing school to pursue a career in nurse anesthesia. My wife was accepted over a year ago and is 12 months away from completing her anesthesia residency. I withdrew 14 months from graduation to support her in this endeavor. She absolutely loved respiratory therapy and hated every minute of her time as an adult critical care nurse. She enjoys the role of anesthesia care provider but it is also extremely demanding. Neither of us returned to school because we hated the field but because we simply needed a new challenge. That’s what life is about. I also disliked nursing and found the job to have many more negative aspects than respiratory however it does have more opportunity to grow. I doubt I’ll go back because I never dread going to work, I feel that I am adequately compensated and enjoy the people I work with very much. I was assisting with a bronch just 2 weeks ago when I noticed a sudden surge in peak airway pressures which went unnoticed by everyone else. The bronch was immediately stopped, the ventilator settings were stabilized and the crash cart was on its way just as the patient began to code. Did I make a difference? Only God knows but maybe the outcome would have been different had we been in the middle of the bronch. I have many other stories just as compelling as to why it is vital to have a trained professional be in the critical care environment that understands mechanical ventilation backwards and forwards. I doubt I’ll finish up the BSN degree and I don’t need this respect everyone is complaining about because I know that I’m damn good at what I do! This field has introduced me to my wife, given me 2 beautiful children and paid my bills for the better part of 2 decades and enabled me to put smiles on the faces of thousands of patients I’ve crossed paths with. It’s my opinion that it is a very good career choice for a life time and an excellent foundation to build upon if you choose to go on to bigger and better things Whatever you decide to do good luck and God bless. Happy Holidays!

  80. Chad,

    You have an interesting perspective and I really enjoyed reading your comment.

    There is so much negativity among “seasoned” therapists that at one point it was almost enough to keep me from applying to RT school. I knew that I had a strong passion for it, but all this talk of a “dead-end, boring, thankless,” career where all you do is supposedly give nebs and get chewed out by administration…well, that sort of thing is why I believe RTs do not have said “respect” or “recognition” that everyone is complaining about.

    If you ask me, in my humble opinion as a 1st year RT student who has worked in a hospital for about 7 years, respect is earned. Recognition is not a right, it is a privilege. More and more RTs each day are leaving the field for nursing, those currently in the field are encouraging potential students to stray away from RT, and there is so much negativity from those who people like myself (students) look up to– those in the field for numerous years. It is these people that I would like to look to for guidance, but that is a rare thing.

    I completely agree with you that respect isn’t needed if you excel in every aspect of your career and provide excellent patient care. I cannot thank you enough for instilling a bit of hope into me with your post.

    Happy holidays to you and yours.

  81. Louis Jimenez RRT says:

    Chad & Trauma Junkie,

    With great interest I have been reading these posts, as well as posting on this blog for quite sometime now. It seems that discontent is quite widespread, not only in Respiratory Care, but in nursing as well. As Chad stated, he too has come across many RNs who are displeased with their professions, so have I. The same holds true for physicians, there are many who are going into different professions, my sister being one, who is now an attorney.

    I started working in RT, or Inhalation Therapy as it was known, back on 11/26/1973. I have seen this profession go from simple to complex. Throughout these years I have worked in every aspect of my profession, from education, which is what I am currently doing, to home health, and everything in between, including hyperbarics, and sleep.

    I have and continue to enjoy my profession. To date, I have not suffered “burn out”. I guess my secret is my genuine interest in what I love to do best. Today I am really “charged up” to go and teach my hemodynamics class. In all honesty I can’t wait to get to school and start my lecture. I still find this exciting, even though it’s probably the “200th time” (probably exaggerated, but not sure) I have done it. It seems that every time I lecture there is something new, or some student asks that “stupid question” which brings something else into perspective, or makes me look at a physiologic concept from a different angle, the end result? I learn something new every day. To me, this is exciting. Some may call me crazy, but it is what it is. Like the people in Pennsylvania, I guess I cling to my profession and my ET Tubes.

    As far monetary rewards go, I can’t complain. I owned a home health company at one time, but the business end of the medical field doesn’t turn me on too much. It seems that reimbursement, claim denials, and the effort that it takes to collect, makes it business not worth doing, at least not at this time. There is a lot of aggravation with medical reimbursement, while this adds a different aspect to the business end, it certainly does not affect the joy of the patient care end, unless of course you own the mess! Thanks but not thanks! My wife specializes in insurance coding, and I witness the ordeals daily. I am not into ordeals, or working for peanuts, so the business end of the medical business is definitely not for me.

    Instead I own and operate an internet e-commerce retail business selling fishing tackle, which I run during the day. I decided on the fishing tackle because I love to fish, and it’s a lot of fun talking to folks who like to fish all day. It won’t make me a kazillionaire, but it is working out for me quite well. I teach my classes in the afternoon into late evening, basically a 3-11 shift, no weekends. I am having a blast doing both, but my heart still is in my profession, where it will always be.

    Overall I think a profession is what you make of it for yourself. I have always made it fun, so it has been a joy for me. I wish others would enjoy it as much, but like everything in life, some things are not for everyone. Burn out is a real thing, though. I wish I had a magic pill, but I don’t. All I can do is relate my experiences and what I have achieved over the years in the hope that others may use the information to their benefit.

    Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, and happy holidays overall to everyone. May the new year bring us all our desires and goals.

  82. dawn says:

    hey, rrt here 18 years quit 6 months ago and miss some things, was considering teaching but wonder about keeping up ceu’s, does anyone know if you need to or if teaching counts in florida?

  83. Louis Jimenez RRT says:

    Dawn,

    As far as I know, teaching does not count towards CEUs. You have to do your normal 24 hours every 2 years.

  84. IL says:

    I have been in Respiratory for over 30 years and desire a change. I want to stay in the health care field and was thinking about becoming a nurse. That is because there are more opportunties in the field of nursing. Does anyone know what schools preferable online that I can get my RN degree? I now travel as a respiratory therapist and I am enjoying this but I do desire a change within the health care field. If anyone has any other suggestions I would really appreciate it.

  85. dori says:

    i hope to the phlegm gods Robert is not a therapist any longer. Since his comments were written in April, I wonder how he feels now. Do you still have a job? Did that job buy you a house you still own? Still can pay your bills with your crappy job you hate? I am appalled at his comments about how much he hates his job. I can bet every single one of his patients felt his hatred and it also reflected in his performance. If you still comment on this sight can you tell me which hospital you are a knob jockey at so I never go there?
    I wouldnt give you respect either if you were my therapist, co worker, or working on a family member. Its always hard working at a new place, if you know what you are doing, you can handle it. You have to earn respect, you think you are going to have it just by walking in and announcing you are the therapist. If being a therapist has been so horrific for you for since 1979, why have you not done something else? What else is going to give you a job where you do HHN treatments Q4, ER calls PRN, vent checks Q2, and a pretty decent salary. I am happy when I show up to a situation and the nurse is HAPPY I am there to DO MY JOB. I got respect from my patients and my coworkers because I am proud of my work and it shows. My hospital doesnt hire therapists like you. How sad.

    For those of you who are looking at respiratory as a career, its a good stepping stone. You can and do burn out easily. Although with respiratory you do have the chance to move around. In my 16 years of being both CRT and RRT, I have worked nursing homes, small hospitals with only one night therapist (me), evening shift in the cardiac unit working with the cabbages, ER, ICU, trauma unit in south central Los Angeles, trauma center in Harlem, and now I am happily on the floors making a good salary, good benefits, total job security, and I teach respiratory at a local vocational school part time. Its a hard job, thats why not every one does it. It sucks, people die all the time around us. We see horrible things, suffering beyond imagination, smells, sounds, fluids….
    This is a great job and you dont like it please leave and do something else. Respiratory is what you make of it.
    I have chosen to make it a great job.
    Robert has apparently allowed it to ruin his life.

  86. Louis Jimenez RRT says:

    Dori,

    Great post! I totally agree with you 100% +++.

    Isn’t it funny how it’s always someone else’s fault? ie: If you’re fat, it’s McDonald’s fault, If you abuse, it’s because you were abused, etc. etc. etc.

    Isn’t it funny that the losers are never accountable, and remain in the hole, while the winners move forward?

    I find these things sad, but entertaining none the less.

    Thanks for posting your reply!

    Best Regards,
    Louis

  87. Tony says:

    I forgot where I saw this, but it’s a good philosophy:

    “If you don’t like where you’re at, keep moving.”

    On a lighter note, my wife and I (an ICU nurse … the cutest one) have been enjoying the old “Emergency!” series on DVD. There was one episode where they feature an “inhalation therapist”. He came in, lab coat, tie, and Bird machine and worked the code. It’s really cool how the producers feature a lot of the hospital’s unsung heroes like the RT, the Chaplain, and even the Data Processing guy. Outside Rampart, they tried to do a spinoff series about animal control officers, featuring a young Mark Harmon.

    Dori, if you’re worshiping phlegm gods, who do the GI specialists worship?

  88. Robert says:

    Hello Dori,

    In response to your comments I’d like to say that your remarks have proven everything I have stated in earlier posts. In addition, we agree on a number of issues. To begin, I’m just as glad as you, that I don’t work in the field of Respiratory Therapy, and I feel just fine and I’m comfortable. Thank you for your concern. Yes, I still live in my house and I only have a few bills. I’m responsible enough to buy things I can afford. When I do RT it is on a PRN basis. I do still enjoy medicine and helping others. I am a good natured person and I can confidently say I’m well liked. Before your post, we would have most likely enjoyed working with each other. I would have politely overlooked your mental challenges and we would have made silly jokes and laughed throughout the shift. Oh well, my loss!! It’s the field of RT that I have contention with. Don’t worry, I won’t tell you where I work (Our second agreement) since I find your comments just as repulsive and I don’t need your respect ether (Our third agreement). I think you need to learn how to comprehend what you read before you open your pie hole. Apparently, you have been misinformed. I give respect to everyone until proven otherwise. You are such an example! I don’t go to work to prove my abilities to anyone, I never have and I never will. I guess some people need to work on their self image. 😉
    You’re correct again in stating your hospital does not hire therapists such as myself (Our fourth agreement) I do try to cause change, but most hospitals like yours prefer to hire drones that do what their told, hence, your employment. Our society is filled with drones that do what their told; sweep the floors, fry the hamburgers, sharpen the pencils and give the 1.25mg Xopenex Q2 on clear lungs with a runny nose.
    RT is not a stepping stone, it is quicksand and most get stuck in it. I agree (Our fifth agreement) with you that RT is a job and delivers a paycheck. But, please do not call it a career! Like oil and water the two never mix. For example, I’ll rewrite one of your comments using the terms water and oil; “For those of you who are looking at WATER as an OIL, it’s a good QUICKSAND.” See now that makes more sense! Let’s try it again with the words shit and piss. “For those of you who are looking at SHIT as a PISS, it’s a good QUICKSAND.” Do you understand my point?
    You appear to boast about your RT experience and how you can handle a shift by yourself. I applaud you! Excellent job Dori! Good Dori! Good! Have I made you feel better yet? Or do you want me to continue to clap? To be honest, I’m not interested, I see you as a drone that does factory work doing what the hospital commands of you. I think you need to find some outside activity that is healthy and makes you happy. My nose started to bleed when I read you teach other students. Again, your post proves everything I’ve said all along…
    Dori, I hope I did not upset you, it is not my intention, and I’m sure you give excellent care (Our last agreement).although you do state people die all around you. What are you putting in your neb cup? Anyway, I think you need a wake up call. It frustrates me when people don’t realize their potential, become complacent and never challenge themselves living mundane lives. But we all have choices! So be it! I’m not a Jerry Springer fan, and this back and forth arguing becomes old and bores me. I drop in now and again to see if anything intelligent and enlightening has been said, but as usual it’s the same ole dodo, just like when I worked in the hospital.

  89. Ashley Armstead says:

    Lets face it!! The medical field has lost its compassinate touch over the years. I just graduated from high school and all these blogs want to change my mind. When you chose this carrer of being a rt you must have a gentle of heart of wanting to help some,But your check didnt help you….. I say make the best of the promblem

  90. Robert says:

    Hello Ashley,

    The issue is not the kind of care people give to patients. I’m sure everyone here gives excellent care, and as you put it; “has a gentle of heart. and wants to help some.” In all the years I’ve worked in the field, I can’t think of one time that a patient was not given the proper care. That applies to the entire healthcare team. So,this is not the issue. Refocus your lens.
    The issue is the field of Respiratory Therapy and how skweded it has become. I’ll spare the details. I can tell you just graduated high school, by your spelling and grammer. Congradulations! 🙂 You should’nt have any trouble at all getting into an RT program.

  91. dori says:

    Robert,
    i hope you get the mental help you need. here are some numbers for you:
    Ntional Mental Health Ass 1-800-273-TALK
    http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/getting-help-locate-services/index.shtml
    You obviously have some issues and need to work them out.
    I am not going to engage with you.
    Wow.

  92. dori says:

    Robert,
    i hope you get the mental help you need. here are some numbers for you:
    Ntional Mental Health Ass 1-800-273-TALK
    http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/getting-help-locate-services/index.shtml
    You obviously have some issues and need to work them out.
    I am not going to engage with you. You abviously do this to argue and annoy people. good luck to you.
    Wow.

  93. dori says:

    Louis Jimenez RRT,
    sorry that you blog has been ruined by people who obviously have way too much time on their hands and they feel they have all the answers.

  94. NScott says:

    “Congratulations” is actually spelled c-o-n-g-r-a-t-u-l-a-t-i-o-n-s or at least it is spelled that way in the dictionary I own. I think that everyone who has been in this field or going into it has their reasons of dislike or frustration. No one has walked in another persons shoes to know why they think or say the things they do regarding a particular situation. Robert I have no idea other then from what you have posted as to why you are frustrated so with the field. I understand they you have been in the field for a while so therefore I have no arguement with you because I don’t have a leg to stand on being a student. I don’t know the things you know and I have not seen things come and go or change over time as you have. I will say that it is a bit of a discouragement to read the negative posts that are submitted not only on this blog but other places on the internet. I am a student who is doing a program online which is more difficult in my opinion then a traditional program because I have to basically teach myself. I don’t have a classroom setting in which to learn. I could have thrown my hands up months ago and said the hell with it but I haven’t because I want to do this. I want to become an RT and I will. I know every job has its ups and downs and you can justify every decision in life you have made including not working in the field full time anymore. Like I said–I cannot argue with you on why you feel the way you do because I don’t know where you have come from and why you state what you do. I do know that no job is going to be 100% great at all times. Things change, opinions change, technology changes, policies change, and people change. I do think people make the most of any job that they have but if you got tired of being in respiratory full time and needed a change then whos to judge that decision that you have made for yourself. If you were to choose another career choice now then whos to judge that. I am not singling out Robert here with his opinions but everyone makes decisions based on their circumstances and that alone. I may not understand the decisions you make and you may not understand mine but thats what makes the world work. I chose respiratory because I wanted to do it. I have 8 more classes online to take and I will be done. It has been hard for me because I work and I go to school but I wanted it bad enough so I have sucked it up and done it. I will say when I go to my clinicals weekly there is not one day that passes that the other therapists are not complaining about policies, the director being an idiot, or the doctors ordering treatments on pts that don’t need them. There has not been a day that I have went to clinicals that my preceptor has not complained about other therapists not doing their job correctly. There has not been a day either that I have been at clinical that I have not heard another professional also complain about procedure, policy, or the way their co-workers perform their job duties. The nurses, rt’s, techs, docs, x-ray techs, etc—they all complain about one another because in one persons eyes the other always has room for improvement which basically means that no one person is perfect and never will be. There will always be complaining because nothing will never be “just right” or “perfect” so get use to it.

  95. Louis JImenez RRT says:

    Dori,

    There is a saying: “What you are speaks so LOUDLY I can’t hear what you are saying” As NScott pointed out, I too have been watching the spelling and grammar. It’s just funny how we go from drowns to drones, etc.

    As far as my blog goes, it hasn’t been ruined. Things get ruined when they are ruin-able. Personally I have been using these blogs to illustrate to my students the different thought patterns: thinking that the glass is half empty vs. half full.

    In life we need both points of view, because this is how we learn to be a winner vs. being a loser, its how we generate a happy and successful life, vs. frustration and unhappiness. I don’t for one minute believe that my blog has been ruined, quite the opposite, I think that the points made serve to validate why some people do well and others don’t.

    “Refractory Unhappiness” doesn’t respond to conventional wisdom. Those who suffer from this ailment tend to behave like viruses, prowling around seeking to “infect” others because they can’t identify their purpose in society or worthiness as an individual or professional. Another word that describes this phenomenon is misery.

  96. dave says:

    To NScott I feel that you appear to be very intelligent and if you want to be an RT go for it! Please be smart and do listen to people like Robert and Louis because every coin has two sides with many truths being on both sides. I respect Robert to the fullest because he has the balls to say what needs to be said, although I may not be as extreme. I consider myself to be a professional and after 2.5 years at the UTHSC, a BSRC, 42,000 dollars; You are damn right I expected to be treated as a professional immediately just as the nurses are; anything less may be a self-esteem problem. I feel that RRT speaks for it’s self and if my work isn’t up to that standard is, I must prove myself; not the other way around. To have to prove yourself to nurses without respect to your credential is basically saying, I know that you think I’m a piece of shit, but let me prove to you that I’m not. Believe me their coursework isn’t that difficult; as ours is more science based. I’m a military medic also, and many of them are more knowlegdable than RN’s with the exception of pharmacology. All views are important on this site, If everything about RT is great to you be happy/satisfied with what you have or given to you; and don’t criticize others because you disagree. For others that think you deserve more and are frustrated with certain aspects of the profession keep voicing your opinion.

  97. NScott says:

    I was wondering if anyone on here as any insight on a Bachelors Degree with Respiratory Therapy. The online program that I am doing currently offers one. I have spoken with several that have completed the A.S. program I am in and they were going to do the B.S. but never did. They said they were told that the pay in most states is the same and it is basically designed for management positions which I can understand. Any comments?

  98. Leslie says:

    I have worked in two different hospitals and both are 180 degrees away from each other. One was horrible and I left and the current one I am at is wonderful and I’m really enjoying it. I think the key to being happy as an RT is finding the right place to work. If I had to get up every day and go to work at the bad hospital, I would quit this career. I was so miserable there that every night before work I laid in bed with a ball of dread sitting on my chest. But at my current job, I pop out of bed every morning ready for, and even looking forward to, work. Everyone in my department is part of a big family. We take care of each other, help each other with our workloads and really respect and love each other. That makes a big difference. You are never alone and you always have about 6 other co-workers/friends who have your back. If you mess with one of us, you’re messing with all of us! Haha! Sure there are still some nurses that don’t treat you with respect but most of time they are the nurses whose opinion I don’t really respect anyway either so I don’t care. I go out every day, demonstrate competence and earn respect from those who are willing to give it. If they’re not then why do I care about what they think anyway? Also if you believe you are right on a subject and they think you don’t know what you are talking about, I just repeat myself in an authoratative tone because I have confidence in what I say. If they disagree then fine. Again, doesn’t affect me. And yes, there are treatments that are unneccessary but you know what, in this economy, it means I have a job so I’m not complaining. It is sad to see so many RTs who are burnt out with their career. If a change of hospital doesn’t help, or you can’t seem to find a positive outlook, then maybe you are suffering from caregiver burnout and need to go do something else for a while. There’s no shame in that. Healthcare is very demanding and it can take a toll on you. Give yourself a break from the field and see if you later feel you want to come back. If not, then maybe healthcare just wasn’t your thing and hopefully you will find happiness somewhere else in life. Just remember that there will always be things that are bad or that drive you crazy at any job. Personally, after doing retail, real estate, waitressing, and physical labor, I love coming to work 3 days a week and connecting with my patients and am looking forward to doing it for years to come.

  99. buzyb says:

    This CEU and other new bs crap the NBRC keeps coming up with crazy. We RT’s need to get together and get a money hungry lawyer and sue their selfish a*@’s!

  100. ly says:

    I am a RT student too. I don’t feel lack of respect as a RT in my clinical hospital. In stead, I am very pround of myself that I choose the right profession. People whom I met all love what they are doing. In my opinion, you have to do what you love and love what you are doing. If people don’t respect us as RT, we could try and educate them as to what our roles.

  101. joshua says:

    Maybe the ones that are unhappy should spend the time finding a new field. To those who are happy and put 100% into your jobs THANK YOU, and you make me proud of my field.

  102. James Gomez says:

    Wow, I was researching some ifno on what timeframe hospitals are using for when a sputum is ordered, to the time an RT has to get it due to nursing being unable. Then…I ran into this site. This Robert guy is seriously nuts. Anyway, I too am an RRT. Started out in trauma in Florida, worked in Mass, then in Florida again, and now doing some lean six sigma process imrpovement type stuff as a director. Moonlight in RT to keep my skills up and hang out with the staff to return to sanity.
    Anyway, RT is great. Trauma was a gas. Art lines, ABGs, COs, Intubations, vents, Txs, pathologies and morphologies and giving advice. All cool. I have worked with some killer therapists who were the go tos for many a nurse and some docs as well. Respect is earned. I never had a problem getting it after the initial barrage was over if the person was sane. If not, I figured they’d hang themselves eventually. I don’t think I’d last working in a crummy environment long anyway. I’d just go someplace else where I could work with like minded individuals. Anyhoo, Good career choice. I don’t have the ability to sit there and work with the same patient all day and the wiping of anything other than sputum/blood/ guts makes me want to hurl…

  103. Ms. C says:

    Hello All,
    I just stumbled upon this blog because I am feeling very burned out with the field… I still have a few good days when I know I have truely helped to make a difference for others. I just get disgusted with the attitudes that nurses tend to have toward RRT’s. Sometimes I have the whole “J.D. from Scrub’s” scenes in my head; where I just front kick every nurse that doesn’t speak, smile, or who calls me “hey respiratory”. To which I promptly answer what nurse??
    I currently teach students and work prn. I am back in college myself working towards going to medical school. I know that I do not want to be fifty years old running this damn much and getting no props for actually knowing how to do more than blow “all-beterall” nebs to patients who have never needed a f*ing tx a day in their lives! No thanks… I am trying to stay positive and I have to say I have laughed my ass off kudo’s Robert!! You’re brilliant. People need to vent, not just be placed on them. Everyone else lighten up b/c if I couldn’t talk smack about the field, I would kill random coworkers!!!

  104. Ms. C says:

    Just forgot to mention that Respiratory Therapy is a very good job. For you students that have truely looked into the options out there in healthcare, RT is a better choice than many others out there. It has to be something that you truely want to do. Every profession has it’s positives and negatives. RT’s typically are very fast and get more exercise. So maybe you can keep your sleek figures:)

  105. James says:

    Yikes, I have been in the profession for 15 years previously I was an EMT and a medic in the army. I can honestly say the RT’s around my place of work are highly respected and sought after for input on policies and procedures. We are program based and all new admissions are reviewed in team meetings with all members providing input. Everyone is respectful of all profession around the table(RT,PT,OT,RN, SW,MD) during these meetings, sure there are conflicts but we try to keep it civil,prehaps this is a unique situation I don’t know?

  106. NScott says:

    Can anyone give me any info on prep study material for crt/rrt exams. I have been told that ketterings seminars are really good but I have just as many people say use the lindsey-jones material which is cheaper. I am just curious to know if anyone has any insight on this. thanks.

  107. Ginny says:

    Robert GET OUT OF THE FIELD I don’t understand if you are that frustrate maybe look into something other than health care. After reading the comments….I noticed not one person has mentioned anything about the patient care we provide. What about the individuals you have made a difference to. Instead the attitude is… ned here, neb there, ABG, called to the ER.. OH wait I thought that is what we do. I definitely got the job description. If you don’t enjoy it GET OUT. Bottom line. Burned out=get out You are not doing anyone any favours. You leave there will be another RT

  108. Elaine says:

    Yikes! I’m currently a student and doing my externship. No wonder some of the RT’s I have met are pretty grumpy!! Grumpy smurfs! I’ve noticed during my clinicals that RT’s and nurses don’t get along, now I know why? Thanks for sharing your years of agony.

  109. Louis Jimenez RRT says:

    Elaine,

    That has not been my experience. In the hospital I last worked at Respiratory was an integral part of the patient care team. Our department had a great relationship with nursing, as well as other deparments within the hospital. We had a lot of responsibilities within the hospital including the cath lab, stress labs, and echo. Our entire RT staff were RRTs all with ample years of experience.

  110. Louis Jimenez RRT says:

    NScott,

    I would highly recommend the Kettering. This is a good review and it is very well put together.

  111. Robert says:

    I really try not to visit this blog, but again curiosity gets the best of me, and of course most of you continue to make me shake my head and laugh.

    NScott before you comment on someone’s spelling, check your own. I admit I do miss spell words. I’m a product of the public school system. What can I say. I do my best. But it appears you have the same problem! In addition, I think you have additional brain damage. A BS in Respiratory Therapy? Apparently your brain damage is in the frontal lobe, the part that is responsible for choosing between good and bad actions. My advice… see a doctor you may be at risk of schizophrenia, as well. I’m not saying you are, I’m just suggesting you may want to think about it! I wish my past RT instructor would have!!

    Louis, thank you for watching my spelling and grammar. 🙂 It is appreciated! Forgive me for intruding on your blog, since I was unaware it was your blog. I have showed disrespect and content concerning your objectives toward the field of Respiratory Therapy. You wanted to paint a picture of golden fields with butterflies and Bambi. And I have burned your fields down, alcoholed your butterflies and blew bambi’s head off. Please forgive me. LOL!! Yeah right…every little RT fantasy you come up with I will gladly show the reality, and hopefully open up some sleepy eyeballs. So the next little blue bird you paint in your pretty little RT painting I will gladly shoot out of the sky and eat it. By the way my cup runith (Is that spelled right Mr. Spell Check?) over with all the things I want in my life! I AM NOT UNHAPPY, so please stop insinuating I am.

    Dave thank you for your comments! I’m usually not this exocentric, however I need to be heard. I think the field can be much more then what it is and it takes people as yourself to help change it. Solider on my friend.

    Leslie,
    You spoke well, and you almost had me until you said that unnecessary treatments help keep your job. THAT IS THE FREAKEN MENTALITY THAT HAS MADE THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM WHAT IT IS TODAY! That statement hit my nerve. Where the hell is my medication!!! I wonder if the mortgage companies said the same thing. “Well these bad loans keep us employed”. BE RESPONSIBLE!!!!! Unnecessary treatments are BULLSHIT, and it needs to stop! That’s why we are there!! You just proved to the internet community you are there for a paycheck!!

    Buzyb I’m sure you are one cool dude, and when I have a party I will definitely invite you. But please lay down your nebulizer and go back to Burger King. Trust me you will be a lot happier!

    Ly You seem like a really nice guy, and I wish the best for you. All I’m trying to do is open your eyes to a different view of RT, so you can make a better decision about your future. If you are happy with the field then go for it! Just make it what it should be.

    Joshua, I have changed fields you dingbat! No one in this field has ever put in 100%, if they did there would be no need for this blog, and Bambi would be running in fields of gold with the butterflies!!

    Mr Gomez, I would rather be nuts than a trained monkey. I understand that wearing a lab coat is better then cooking French fries. The field needs people as you, so congratulations on being the most you can be! I can hear the nurses and doctors applauding your ability to give a normal saline neb!

    Well said Ms. C 🙂 you can come to my party anytime! OOPS!! I just read #103 entry, isn’t there something else you want to say about RT. You know damn well RT has more negatives then other allied health fields. However, you can still come to my party 🙂

    James thank you for your input. It shows hope!

    Ginny, apparently you too are just another Dingbat! I am out of the field. Do you understand? I only work PRN, because I have hope that one day I can say to a doc, “ No it’s not indicated, give it yourself!” As far as the patient care we give, 20% should have died 50yrs ago, 30% require a psychiatrist vs Xopenex, another 30% are admitted with non respiratory issues, and yes about 20% require our services. Is the 20% worth the 80% of shit we have to deal with??? Just something to think about! If you don’t believe me just look at your treatment log, and remember be honest!!!

    Elaine, Its your future, do what you will with it.

  112. NScott says:

    robert: as usual you seem to have to have the last word. might i suggest to you since this field is so screwed up from your standpoint that you take the time and energy that it takes you to type these messages on this blog and put it to work making this field what it should be in your eyes. you seem to let all of us know what the problems are but are you doing anything to fix those problems or do you just contribute to them. also you mentioned you work prn. obviously you still need resp. therapy for something or you would not work prn at all. if you hated it as bad as you said you do then you would not step foot back in a hospital to do anything related to resp at all. oh and one more question….who were you trying to impress with your long comment that did nothing more but allow everyone on here once again to see your child like ways of name calling and put downs. do you do that to try and grab some more attention that you obvioulsy do not get enough of in your everyday life?

  113. Louis Jimenez RRT says:

    Robert,

    I must admit I do find you quite funny, your descriptions of “scorched earth”, “dead butterflies”, and “beheaded deer” are very visual to say the least, I have been laughing since I read them. Very funny stuff. I can picture the disaster, including all the people who were close by and ended up with “instant pneumoconiosis” from all the dust, burnt fields, death, and beheadings. You should become a sci-fi or horror movie director/writer. I think you missed your calling. Obviously RT is not for you, and you have come to accept that, which is very GOOD for both you as well as the profession.

    I am not sure why you think I am insinuating you are unhappy. I have been reading your doom and gloom posts for quite sometime. I think it’s been almost a year now. Honestly dude, I think that the “Blue Bird of Happiness” has been long absent from your life, and it has been replaced by the “Chicken of Depression.”

    It’s obvious that you are totally unable to accept the fact that there are people who are genuinely happy with their chosen profession, which leads me to believe that your un-happiness is such, that anything with the word “happy” in it is just un-acceptable. There hasn’t been one positive note to anything you have written on these threads. I don’t think that your problem is being unhappy; miserable is a more appropriate term.

    While I can accept that RT is not for you, for the “reasons” you state, the fact that you think everyone else has had the same experience, but we are all just lying to make it sound like we are happy, is what leads me to believe that you have failed to meet your own expectations. Calling people drones, drowns, and all the other names, etc. just because you don’t believe that anyone can be happy being an RT is laughable, and very indicative of both personal failure, unhappiness, as well as great misery. So if you want to know what I think, that is what I think, and those are the reasons why.

  114. matthew says:

    dear Robert,

    You are a breath of fresh air. i have been reading this blog all morning and i cannot tell you how refreshing it is to hear it “like it is.” YOU are right on the mark. i couldn’t agree more with you and hope to see more of your posts in the future.

    a BIG thank you.

  115. Randy says:

    Lots of unhappy people here. Best thing to do is quit and let those of us who like it do the job.

  116. shouldhave says:

    My 2 cents. 15 years as an RRT. Burned out around 14 years ago. Many different hospitals, many different units, many different types of patients, coworkers, residents, directors, etc… good and bad all around. Where and with whom you work in this field makes a difference, as with any job. But only a little in my case. I know my stuff, I do the best job I can, I earn respect, and I treat every patient like I would treat my own grandmother, and I go home. But I have to tell you, going to RT school was, literally, the worst decision I have ever made. I seriously thought I was going to be somebody. Now, it is a constant drain on my sanity. I am, or was, a very happy, energetic, life loving person. I still am, or try to be, when I have a few days off. But the dread of the upcoming shift is always there. It keeps getting heavier and heavier, year after year. Trust me, after the exciting and new first few years, it becomes all the same. Fast paced or slow, there is nothing new around the corner. New innovations? Shit, the best innovation I have seen is the aluminum E-tank. All the rest is minimal. Nothing has been, and I would bet never will be, earth shattering, let alone exciting. Somebody invent the Oxygen patch, please. That might actually be helpful. There is a plateau that you will reach in this field. Nowhere but straight ahead, or down, to go from there. Unless of course you are lucky enough to be such a go-getter/need to know every last med hx detail/ drip/ dosage/ RT is my life/ Albuterol is important/ and I’m important because I control the flow on this vent! type of person that you are able to keep it fresh and entertaining. Kudos. If my dog had just one thumb he could be trained to do it.
    In most hospitals, most of the decisions you make, if any, are mundane(there are exceptions). Do I start at the low numbers or the high? Should I leave it at 2l/m or wean to 1.5 like that go-getter does? Albuterol or Atrovent in the cup first? Step quietly over the 6 family members sleeping on the floor or wake everyone up with lights blazing to give the 0300 tx because the patient coughed once yesterday? As I said there are exceptions. There are and will be important decisions to make, but you better know what your doing and know who is going to stand behind you if something goes wrong, your fault or not. I’ve had directors/managers/etc that would stand behind me 100%, and others who would not stand behind anybody for anything.
    Now, don’t get me wrong. This is a job. Decent paying job. You will never get rich, but of coarse this is relative. If you work 12’s and don’t have to work OT, 4 days a week off can’t be beat. That’s if there not all scattered all over the place. Occaionally but rarely I’ll get a 4 day weekend, more of the time I get 4 one day weekends. This really bites if you work nights. I am thankful to have a job, I just don’t enjoy it at all anymore. I do believe it already has or soon will take ten years off my life. I am absolutley determined to get out. For good. For the time being I am stuck, family medical/ insurance/ money/ time issues abound. But I will get out one day. I will be somebody!
    By the way, to any new RT’s or students, good luck and I hope you really enjoy or even just tolerate your new careers. Really. It does have its moments. I’ve known a few who really liked it, more like me who absolutely loathe it, but most tolerate it. But 85%, no 95% of the stuff you learn in school, you will never use. They need to teach classes on how to deal with stupid MD’s, smart MD’s, arrogant MD’s, brand new MD’s, brand new RN’s, hard nose politics, quiet behind the door you’ll never know politics, what really happens before and after joint commision, over-anxious pt’s, family members, and rn’s, more politics, unrational and overeager RT’s, constant departmental improvements that only make everything more time consuming and complicated, some more politics, and approx 1000 tiny, mundane, worthless, moot, unneeded, and/or stupid things you will have to do in the coarse of your 12 hour shift that havn’t the slightest to do with helping somebody breath better. And finally, they should devote the entire last semester of RT school on how to work for years on end, full time and more, come up with tens of thousands of extra dollars, completely adjust your life, support your family and kids, save for their education, pay the bills, and go back to school all over again before you hit 50, all at the same time, for what you should have done in the first place.
    If I had to do it over again, it would not be in the medical field at all. If it had to be in the medical field, I would go straight through nursing school and straight into CRNA school as soon as possible. 3-10 times the money, probably about the same amount of bullshit. Bash if you want, but I’m not here anymore. I’m out deciding on the Albuterol or Atrovent first thing.
    Just my 2 cents.

  117. Adam says:

    Hello to all-

    I send this message simply as a response to negativity and a summons to all of those in this field who feel good about the great impact that they have on those for whom they administer care. I felt a spiritual calling to this field after a 10 year career detour in production art and graphic design for a very high-profile company. They provided great perks, a good-paying job, and somewhat of a “status” when I told people what I did for a living.

    After ten years, I find myself laid off after working my way through some kind of ranks, and want to return to a career of service through medicine. I say return because I served in the Navy as a Hospital Corpsman for 8 years and did not prosper or have the motivation to continue in this field.

    After some investigation I have found not only inspiration but the promise of good money in RT. Unfortunately, I cannot complete my course of choice due to this economy and my ability to pay for this program at my school of choice. I found myself asking, at 37 years old, for my father to co-sign for a student loan to do something for which I truly believe holds great promise. I had a GREAT job that I thought would carry me for many years. My father denied my request today for myriad understandable reasons.

    Bottom line- in reading this blog I have recognized the need for positivity and the belief in humankind for the medical profession to progress. Mr. Jimenez- hats off to you for your lust for life and for continuing your profession to keep your skills sharp. I felt the medical calling at about 18 or 19 years old, fulfilled my military obligation and pursued something else for selfish reasons, and now find myself at a crossroad that I cannot pass due to ridiculous financial reasons: 1. Should I continue to pursue work for which I know I will be extremely underpaid compared to where I was working before? 2. Should I follow my heart and pursue RT and get paid well for doing it? 3. I can’t cover what Stafford Loans don’t due to my financial status last year.

    In summary, I am extremely disappointed and somewhat depressed that I can’t do this right now, although I’m looking for ways around it. I made too much money last year to qualify for any grants, and the unemployment system unfortunately is overtaxed, making it hard to explore my options. Unfortunately, the system makes it easier to collect your partial paycheck looking for something you don’t want to back to. My heart hurts that there are so many out there who are employed and not grateful for their job, although I understand the burnout. I wish every single blogger here nothing but the best, and peace and satisfaction in whatever they choose. Please send some kharma this way.

    Sincerely,
    Adam

  118. LUCINDA says:

    ROBERT,
    I enjoy your comments. I’ve made
    similar observations, in the past, and have
    been roundly criticized for them. No one wants to hear the truth, especially from a
    female RRT. I am sorry that I wasted my
    money on a B.S. in Respiratory Care. I received more respect when I was employed as a Dog Catcher.

  119. Jay says:

    Ive been a RT since 1999. I graduated college with a 4 year degree in business adm. before I went to respiratory school. The only reason I went to resp. school was because I couldnt find a decent job with my business degree. Ive worked PRN ever since I started in the field. I can honestly say the only thing I like about the job is I make my own schedule and its a paycheck. Sad to say but thats the truth. Its a boring and repetitous job. Breathing tx here, cpt there, check ventilator here, blah,blah,blah.

  120. Josh says:

    Does anyone know of any hospitals in the U.S. where RT’s work in the OR with Anesthesiologists? I know that RT’s in Canada do, however I am curious to know if we do here in the U.S.

  121. Dennis Carreiro says:

    Robert is a moron. Well here I am fool, been working in the #1 hospital in the country for over a year and guess what? I still LOVE being an RT! So take that to the bank and make a deposit right into your …

  122. Lee Stafford says:

    I have been in Respiratory Therapy for 22 years. When I first started we were the 3rd biggest money maker in the hospital. We were paid per procedure. When congress passed the Balanced Budget Amendment and DRGs came in we became a money looser. Then the jobs dried up. We are no longer on the same billing scheme. We have never been able to bill outside of a hospital. My former boss in a Cleveland hospital who now works for the AARC told me that the AARC did not even show up at the meetings that took place in Washington DC. In other words no one showed up to represent us and we got screwed. Do the math we make no one any money. We no longer have 20 to 30 jobs in the Cleveland Plain Dealer News Paper. We no longer have departments with 8 therapists on a shift. I remember applying for jobs and being the only applicant! The AARC has failed us. The NBRC has made it so only RRTs can now get the few jobs out there. In other words the NBRC has pressured the hospitals to only hire RRTs and disinfranchised and Screwed over CRTs. You can bank on the NBRC sending you a membership request for your money even if your a CRT. No other medical profession has done this to healthcare workers. Its time to say that the Clinical Simulation is a farce. Its a farce becuse the answers are wrong! We are the only profession in healthcare that has a clinical simulation. Why should a CRT with years and years of critical care have to take it? If your a CRT your screwed. If your a RRT and working your in a money loosing profession that is why your doing the work of three people. May I also remind you that the federal goverment still after all these years does not recognize us as a profession. The goverment has told the AARC they might recognize us if we all get BS degrees. Yes we work at the VA but the Feds to not recognize us as a legit profession. The bottom line is we have always had very poor representation. This would explain why RNs and Lpns are allowed to do respiratory therapy. The LPNS are not allowed to touch the Vents but they do anyway. All these reason are why we have never had respect. If you can go into something that makes money for the facility. In healthcare there is no such thing as right or wrong or morality. Tax exempt status and what they can bill for your services rules the hour. Why do you think physical therapy pays so much for their lobbying arm? Healthcare in the US is corrupt. If your going to work in it go into something you can make alot of money at like the pharmacy industry then get out!

  123. Louis Jimenez RRT says:

    Lee,

    In today’s hospital reimbursement system, DRG, no department can bill by procedure. This is true for ALL departments, all departments are cost centers, have been since the early 80s. Profits are realized through targeted treatments, and minimizing hospital days.

    Respiratory Care departments can make money for the hospital making ample use of outpatient services such as PFTs, stress testing, pulmonary rehab, asthma education, etc. Remember that any diagnostic procedure that is done in-house goes under the DRG, any procedure that is done on an outpatient basis does not. Outpatient procedures are billed per procedure, not DRG.

    With regards to CRTs, the AARC is/has been trying to get everyone to become RRTs. Nursing has also been trying to encourage LPNs to obtain their RN credential. Respect comes through education, performance, and effort. There are some RT department directors that need to get active within the hospital, business as usual is not going to cut it anymore, there are many areas RTs can function in, that other professions can’t. Not sure where you work, but at the hospital I was working (I’m teaching now) RTs were an integral part of the hospital, we were responsible for weaning, assessments, cath lab, neo resuscitation, intubations, etc. Our team of medical directors were dedicated to our department, hence our level or responsibility within the hospital. Everyone at our hospital relied on us heavily when things got crazy, and things got crazy every day.

    I am very selective of where I work. The last thing I want to do is work at a hospital where RTs can’t go to the bathroom without asking permission. Luckily the area where I live has many different employment options, and I can be selective. I have been working as an RT since 1973, I love what I do, and I enjoy my profession. Going to work is fun, not another day at work.

    As far as the clinical simulations go, not sure what you mean by they are all wrong. I think NBRC testing is right on the money. Critical thinking skills are imperative if you are going to work in any aspect of health care where patient assessment is an integral part of the job.

    I have been teaching RT since 1982. I find that you have some students that are motivated to learn, and some that just want the easy path. RT is not easy, but then again anything that is worthwhile never is. I totally agree with the bachelors degree, the more I look at it, the more sense it makes.

    I do agree that there are some departments that need improvement, however the AARC has no control over that. RT departments and their directors need to get going and move forward, sitting around complaining and blaming is not going to make the situation better. Things do change, and they do improve, however someone has to take the first step to make it happen. I urge you to do so. It may be a good idea to discuss your concerns with your fellow RTs and come up with a game plan, implement it, and stick with it.

    The history of respiratory care has been to take on responsibilities, not get rid of them! I have seen it, but most important, I was working throughout these years. RT in 1973 vs. 2011, all I can say is WOW!!!!

  124. Lee Stafford says:

    Louis, with all due respect your talking the same positive fantasy propaganda nonsense we have all been hearing for years! I dont doubt you work at a great place and love doing respiratory. We are not on the same billing scheme as PT,OT,Speech,Radiology,RNs,Ultrasound ect. In most Cleveland Hospitals we do not even run ABGs anymore.Lab runs the ABGs.Respiratoy Depts cannot afford the Fifty thousand per year per machine.Out patient services dont cut the mustard.Ventilator reimbursement has been cut so deeply over the years ventilator units all over Cleveland have closed. We do not make money off Aerosol treatments,ABGs,or any other typical respiratory function. The boom days are over! As for RN vs LPN the RN is out of a two to four year or more course. The LPN is out of a 8 to 11 month course. Most if not all CRTs have a 2 year degree just like the RRT. Most if not all healthcare professions have a written exam. When I have explained the clinical sims to other professions they think it is totally bizarre. The clinical sims is a device to make money. Critical decision making comes with experience. We have all these RRTs walking around with no experience becuse they are allowed to take this test before they get any! I know RRTS that have never worked in a hospital. I know RRTs that have only done home care or long term vent units and do not know how to work in a hospital. If the RRT with no hospital experience bids on a hospital job against a CRT with 20 or more years of critical care experience the RRT will get the job and the patient pays the price. The correct way to set up the system is to have RRTs with a 4 year degree and call them Respiratory Therapists. CRTs with a 2 year degree and call them Respiratory Therapy Assistants. The RRT writes the Care plan. The Crt executes the care plan. The RRT has a BS and a minimum of 3 years of Critical Care. The NBRC and The AARC do not have the foresight to do this. Both organizations site behind closed doors creating schemes to punish those who did not fall in line and take the RRT exam. Everyone I know that finally took the exam did it out of fear! Hospitals under pressure from the NBRC are throwing out CRT applications for jobs. If only these organizations would have put the energy into creating jobs and huge demand for all. How do you all like the fact that the people that run the show behave this way? Like I said before get into a profession that has strong representation. The requirements are based on logic. The testing is a knowledge based test. The representation is based on respect not fear and coercion.

  125. Louis Jimenez RRT says:

    Lee,

    There is no difference in billing scheme as far as Part A goes, everything goes under the DRG. As far as outpatient procedures go, these do vary in price, depending on complexity, time, etc. You will find some degree of variance there, however these will vary based on community costs, regional differences, etc. Medicare doesn’t reimburse the same in all regions. Services such as radiology, etc, have traditionally been more expensive than RT, equipment is more expensive, and costs per procedure are higher than some of the basic RT procedures. The department that always outperformed all the others was the pharmacy, all patient’s in the hospital are on drugs, and it takes less pharmacists to dispense the entire hospital. So their profits were high, and salary costs were considerably less since it took less personnel to run the department.

    HMOs, PPOs, and other insurance of that type have contracts based on per diem hospital rates. These rates are based on critical care days, vs. floor days, etc. There are also per-capita contracts, however these are not as popular with hospitals, at least not in this area where I live. Bottom line, these per-diem rates cover all services provided by the hospital, the only things that do not fall under the per-diem rates, are outpatient procedures, and these are also contracted rates. These rates are set, so there are no “per procedure” reimbursements with these types of contract either. When compared to Medicare, the per-diem rates are more lucrative than DRG rates, again, at least that is the case here, but that could vary. Medicare has different reimbursement rates based on regions.

    You can’t compare physical therapy departments with respiratory departments. I can tell you that when Physical Therapy came out with the “assistant” credential, hospitals reduced the number of RPTs, and increased the number of assistants. That did not turn out too good for PT. I witnessed the mess personally, my cousin is an RPT.

    The last thing RT needs is an “assistant” credential. We need 1 credential, not 2. We definitely don’t want the “RPT Syndrome” mentioned above to infect RT. Having one credential levels the playing field and there are no salary differences. Hence the push for RRT only. I do agree with you that when this move was made, they did not think it through very well. Not sure why it was done that way, perhaps the number of schools did not jive with those that could offer a bachelors. I would guess that was the issue, but I wasn’t there, so I really don’t know. RT has been traditionally a 2 and 1 year degree, to date, there are not too many schools that offer a bachelors in RT. So mandating a bachelors may adversely decrease the number of programs available. ?? That would be my guess.

    As far as experience and knowledge goes, that process never stops, so if you are going to time a test based on those requirements, I am not sure how you could determine that therapist A can take the test today, and therapist B needs to wait another year. The NBRC creates exams based on knowledge a therapist should have based on schooling. Once the therapist graduates school and commences his/her career, the experience is going to depend on numerous factors that are going to vary from therapist to therapist. NBRC exams are based on basic knowledge, you can’t create different tests for different people, so it has to be uniform. You can’t expect a therapist who works in a small rural community hospital to have the same level of experience as one who practices at a larger institution as Mass General, etc. The testing has to reflect basic knowledge, level of experience needed to fill a position is based on the requirements of individual hospitals, etc. This is why we interview people and find the best candidate to fill the position we seek to fill.

    I know CRTs that are vastly more experienced, and better prepared than RRTs, however I still can’t figure out why they have not taken the time to become registered. Getting an RRT credential is an individual decision, some decide to move forward with the RRT credential, and some don’t. The NBRC has no control over personal decision. Personally I was a CRT for a few years before I took my RRT. I decided to take the test when the salaries in this area had a substantial change, prior to that I had not given it much thought. During my tenure I have never been downgraded in what procedures I could or could not perform, so when I was a CRT, my jog duties were not any different.

    As far as the fantasy propaganda goes. I refrain from working in hospitals that don’t meet my expectations. You can be choosy, if the Cleveland area hospitals are not your speed, perhaps you may want to consider interviewing in other areas, then relocating. I think a change of scenery may give you a different view of RT. If you can’t relocate, and you hate the job, then you may want to look into doing something else. It makes no sense to be unhappy, however you can’t say that RT is the same everywhere, because it simply isn’t. There are good departments and horrific departments, I have seen both.

  126. Chuck says:

    Unfortunately, after 22 years practicing as a respiratory therapist, I have to agree with the vast majority. It is a thankless and very limited profession. We have boxed ourselves into a corner by limiting our specialty to few actual clinical applications. A nurse can legally perform most of our tasks. We have overspecialized and become neb monkeys. And yes I am burned out. I am probably going into nursing which will open up a whole new realm, nurse practioner, nurse anesthetist etc. Do yourself a favor run away, don’t walk!

  127. Hi everyone!!! Well just passed my mock crt that is required to graduate and.. now i have to pass a mock RRT. I heard back in the day people just needed to pass a CRT but I guess they require more now out of students. ANyways after I pass on july 14, I hope to take my Crt right away and start looking for work. I am curently located in San diego CA and the market isnt so good out here too many schools and too many fresh RTS.. So if any of you are looking for fresh grads in the upcomming months let me know I am willing to move anywhere.. other than that check out this WHOS Who in RESPIRATORY web site.. it is a good site to mingle with other RtS and share information. look me up on there or email me anytime breatheasyja@gmail.com

  128. kart says:

    Hey all. I love the back and forth between the burnt out and the still burning strong. I am one of the lucky ones who can honestly say that I enjoy coming to work.

    Unlike a post I read wayyyy up top, I didn’t go the mail in degree and got my BS in Respiratory Care. While specific, it opened the door to management and within 3 years I was a coordinator. Now, working on my masters I am set up to be the next director. And while some may try to poo poo on the RT directors, our direct has some pretty nice sway in the organization.

    Being the most fiscally productive in the ministry, we are the poster-boys of success. We went from being the worst productive to number 1; untouchable. As a result of that, we now have multiple departments under us (yes under us) including: sleep lab, cardiac imaging, neurodiagnostic services(TCD, and more.

    Any job is what you make of it. If you want to be a neb monkey, be prepared to be phased out in the next 4-5 years. If you want to be a specialist, do it. Step up and take the next position, take the test, do the extra work and study for advancement. Don’t go online and complain about how the job is thankless when the job you do is pointless.

    The way I see it is if your job can be replicated by simple machines, be prepared to be replaced soon by those machine. Bring the “Therapist” back to “Respiratory Therapist”.

    /off soapbox.

  129. Jason says:

    Robert,

    Please come back to the blog. I miss reading your “truths” and also your putting these sunshine and daisy folks in their place. You have a following here….

  130. chris says:

    Just a thought and this comes from someone who graduated with their degree 2 years ago. Please stop complaining about how the job is shit. I have been out of school for 2 years now in Alabama and have yet to even find a job in respiratory. Be proud you at least have a way to pay your bills. If I didn’t have an extremely understanding wife I’d be up creek. Yea I can agree the field is shit. The reason for it is because none of you veterans have advocated in the past 40 years or so to have nurses to STOP DOING OUR JOBS!! In 2 years I can’t even get a job doing labor work because as soon as they see my degree they think I’m only looking for temporary work. The only job I’ve been able to find is in a nursing home watching ignorant nurses give 30 min. single dose breathing treatments because they’re so stupid they don’t even know that their so called “neb machines” don’t put out the proper flow. So for those of you who are employed be proud you have income, for those who left the field and went onto something else successfully AMEN TO YOU!!

  131. Jill says:

    Would like to know how to get into pulmonary rehab.

    I am a CRTT who has been in the field for a long time but not actually worked for 10 years due to burn out!! I stayed in the medical field in various capacities. I am thinking on becoming a personal trainer and working with COPDers to continue their pulmonary exercises. Any ideas please help.

    Thanks, Jill

  132. joe says:

    @Jill – I think the thing to do is to reach out to facilities in your area that do pulmonary rehab and tell them your background and ask what kind of things you’d need to do to take on a role like that.

    Hopefully other folks will have ideas too! Thanks for posting.

  133. Lewis says:

    If you are new to the Field, lack of respect is just around the corner, thats reality. I have been in Respiratory for 20 years, my Hospital Heroes are Respiratory Therapist, the good ones, not the lazy ones that will do any and everything to get out of doing treatments, but rather the ones that will do any and everything to get the treatments done. There are a lot of Respiratory Therapist in the field, but I only have meet a few that really stand out as true Professionals in the sense that they really care what happens to their Patients and care what impression that they are leaving the Nurses and Doctors about Respiratory Therapist. If you have been a Respiratory Therapist, i’m sure that you know some bums, the warm bodies that always have a reasons for not doing their treatments, when you have more patients than they have, but somehow you managed to give every treatment that was ordered for your Patients. Why are they still around? They are Friends with the Supervisor or Director. This is one reason that they don’t respect us, they don’t know what brand of Respiratory Therapist you are, the warm body or the Professional. Respiratory Therapist are spread out, and for the most part, unsupervised. Some people, no matter the age, need someone to watch them, to make sure that they are going to do those treatments. Get rid of the Warm Bodies, replace them with comitted Professional Respiratory Therapist, watch the level of respect rise and rise. A Respiratory Therapist thats only assigned to the ICU, Nicu or Picu are well recieved, because they have formed Prosessional relationships with the Doctors, Nurses, Neonatal Nurse Practitioners, and only leave the unit to go home, not to goof off. Respect, for Respiratory Therapy is in our hands, because we know our profession better than the Nurses, but we have to be there to prove it, by doing the treatments when they are due, not hiding in the Respiratory Department complaining. If we all can work together as a team, things will change.

    No, i’m not a Nurse, I know all to well about the lack of respect, I have worked with the same Respiratory Therapist that consistently goofs off and always get away with it, even the big Respiratory sin, PENCIL THERAPY.
    PENCIL THEREPY gives us all a black eye.

  134. Louis Jimenez RRT says:

    I am not sure what is going on these days. It seems that in the medical profession overall there is a lot of discontent. I was teaching right up until November 2011, they wanted me to teach full time and I decided that I don’t want to work full time anymore, I was happy doing 1 day a week. So the teaching job came to an end 2 months ago. I am currently running my business, however I do miss working in the hospital and teaching.

    I would work a perdiem shift here and there, but in all honesty, I don’t work Fridays, I don’t work weekends, and I don’t work any more holidays, so my prospects are non-existent, and that’s fine. Having my own schedule, and calling the shots is where I always wanted to be, and I am here now.

    I still love my profession. My experience in RT was always positive overall. Sure there was the occasional discontent, but these had nothing to do with Respiratory, these were more about scheduling, and being tied down. I have always managed to separate the content of respiratory care and scheduling. I had fun working, learned a lot, and was able to do a lot of good things for people. Respiratory is a fascinating field, you just have to get into it. If the interest level is not there, then it won’t work out for you, however this is true for all professions.

  135. Samuel Garcia RTS says:

    I am a student who is currently attending Pima Medical Institute. I am in my 2nd clinical rotation (of 3) and have to say i love the career already. I decided to fall into the profession because my son and wife have asthma and whenever i was in the ED the RT was always there and comforting. Thats what i want to do for others. My only concern is the hiring situation here in San Diego. There is a shortage of jobs and I am told I will have to move for work. I am currently doing my clinical rotation at Scripps La Jolla and have to say i would love to work there.

  136. I write a blog cantspellpartywithoutrt.tumblr.com as well as contribute to Advance for Respiratory Care and Sleep Medicine as a “Finding my place in the Respiratory World” new/student voices.

    My twitter handle is @RRTKevinJohnson, which is connected to my blog.

    Follow me…very interested in communicating and connecting with fellow RTs!

  137. Dottie says:

    I’ve worked as an RRT from 1982 through 2004, plus I worked alot of overtime (50 to 60 hours per week for most of the time). I worked in many different hospitals, depending on what was going on in my life. Anyway, I noticed that the hardest time was when you change facilities. When you first start a position, regardless of you past experience, alot of co-workers don’t trust you. It takes awhile for alot of so-workers to develop that trust & to get to know you as a person. Also, department managers are notorious for hiring an RT at the lowest salary they can, so if you did not negotiate your salary at hiring, you’ll probably be under paid. Also, when you change facilities, you are now the new comer & will probably get the worst schedule they can give you, & will be scheduled for many holidays (even though you’ve worked them at you previous place). Given all that, I did my job to my standards & satisfaction, rather than look for recognition from co-workers. If you stay in one place long enough, co-workers will get to know you as a person & the job will get less stressful.

  138. Frank accardo says:

    I just want to say that I spent the entire afternoon reading Roberts posts and I enjoyed them thoroughly!!! I totally agree with every bit of what he was saying and he showed me that I’m not the only one that feels the way I do. I see a lot of what Robert was describing in my department where ‘productivity’ points trump patient care. I am the lone voice in my department that’s pushing for fairness and change against a mountain of drones that agree with me, but are too afraid to make any changes but depend on me to be their voice while being all too ready to throw me under the bus if their jobs feel threatened to them. Respiratory therapy has been a major disappointment to me and if you voice valid concerns then you’re labored as a complainer. Thank you, Robert. Please email as I totally understand where you’re coming from. Frank_Accardo@yahoo.com

  139. Ana says:

    Hello there, I own and offer a clinical respiratory training programs. I also write blogs about clinical respiratory. There are only few who give dedication for their craft and I salute you that you’ve made a good point. Thanks.

  140. Keith says:

    Bottom line is this…treatments CAN be done by RN’s. END OF STORY. The E.R. —all nebs should be done by RN’s. Why do you need to page an RT to take 10-15 minutes to get there when the nurse can do it in 3-5 minutes?…..Half of the field of respiratory therapy is completely a solvable by nursing. Other countries do not have RT’s.. Anyone who is thinking if going into this garbage job should walk away before you invest ANY time into this 100% COMPLETELY disappointing b.s. field., period.

  141. joe says:

    Keith, the fact that ER aerosol treatments don’t have to be given by RTs does not negate the whole field. And having to wait for an RT 10-15 minutes for something emergent because it’s “not their job” is BS. If you’re qualified to give a medication, give it.

    I think anyone whose career is dependent on breathing treatments and ONLY breathing treatments needs to beef up his or her skills or find another line of work. For me, working in the ICU was very rewarding – but this was in a large teaching hospital where my expertise with a wide variety of RT treatments made me valuable. I don’t think it’s at all fair to label RT as “100% COMPLETELY disappointing b.s. field.” It’s simply not true.

    Learn about what RTs are about before entering the field. Come to think of it, any job you’re interested in and requires training? Take the time to learn what the “Keiths” of the profession say about it. You can learn a lot by researching what the people who hate a field think.

  142. Keith says:

    Joe…. 1st off— half of being an RT is doing neb treatments. That is a fact. It’s 48% vent stuff , 48% nebs. 2% other things.(abgs). So if you agree that nurses can do neb treatments in the e.r. , then why not on a floor in the hospital? Same thing. We all know RNs make us give neb treatments for EVERYTHING whether or not it is indicated. I think they should do them so that they can finally learn that nebs don’t fix or work for what they make us do them. CHF, P.E’s…anxiety… List is too long to mention here. I just think that RNs should sign THEIR name to a med that they think will help, because its their view. Do RNs give Lasix to someone not in CHF? Do nurses give Cardizem to a pt who is in sinus rhythm of 70bpm??? NO! So why then are we made to give a person with clear lungs albutero??? THERE IS NO LOGIC THERE…. That is where respiratory therapy fails. A nurse will refuse to give the Lasix or Cardizem because they are given that right. RTs can’t refuse because we fall below RNs…. So why even have us give this stuff???? Screw it— let the RNs do it if they believe it’ll work for those B.S. reasons that they come up with and are NOT IN ANY TEXTBOOK OR PHARMACEUTICAL BOOK OF MEDS…..

  143. joe says:

    Actually, relationships with medical staff is 33% of the job. If you let them bully you, ignore your recommendations, and force you to do nebulizer treatments that are not indicated, you are failing to do your job.

    Stop whining and be a professional. If you carry yourself like someone who can be pushed around, you WILL be pushed around.

  144. Samuel Garcia AS RCP CRT says:

    Determined RT. Ready to work. Need a career ASAP. Fresh out of school. Any suggestions?

    Email: rtsamuelgarcia@yahoo.com

  145. Keith says:

    ^^^^ Joe—you don’t know me from s%#t. Let me make this perfectly clear to you. I am one of the most professional RTs I know , and that is fact. What has happened in this field is that the brown-nosers, suck ups and lazy RTs who dump work on the responsible ones are the ones who become dept heads, leads and always exist when they are worth 0, nothing. For you to insist that I’m not “doing my job” ??? You have no idea how many times I’ve explained in detail the non- indications of albuterol and attovent—–as a whole–THEY DO NOT CARE!!!!! I have waisted MANY years trying to educate the residents and newer RNs over and over and over. I GIVE UP….F them. If they insist its “needed”…. Then they can sign for it.,and give it. Tell me this Joe…. Every time I’ve ever refused to give a neb or just said it wouldn’t work or benefit the pt. and didn’t do it—– Tell me why I ended up having to talk to a department manager about that….???? You tell me.. If I gave valid and clearly stated reasons ,,,, then why should I , or anyone , be subject to any verbal speaking to or counseled for that???? That is why respiratory fails. NO ONE IS WILLING TO STAND UP AND SAY THAT THESE THINGS DO NOTHING FOR PLEURAL EFFUSIONS, OR P.Es or Anxiety…

  146. joe says:

    In circumstances where you’re getting browbeaten and reprimanded for exercising your knowledge and judgement, that sounds like there’s a management problem in your department. I can tell you, having worked in half a different RT departments, with 3 dozen different kinds of managers, they are not all the same. Some are indeed jerks, and don’t support their people. The good thing is hospitals are big organizations that one can learn to work with. It’s painful to document things and take things up the chain of command, but sometimes it needs to happen. If you can document needless treatments and uncooperative nurses and non-listening doctors, and establish protocols for effective nebulizer treatments, and also document the cost savings of NOT giving uncessary treatments, that puts you in a good position to effect positive change – for PATIENT CARE. Because that’s the thing that matters, ultimately.

    It’s all well and good to be blunt and direct, but if you’re trying to convince people of something or get people on your side – you have to take a different approach. Yes, it requires you to be a politician, but if that’s the job, that’s the job. You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

    This energy you have Keith, to vent, to tell your story, put some of that good enthusiasm to make a change among your fellow RTs and health care professionals! Best of luck.

  147. Louis Jimenez RRT says:

    I have been reading all the disappointment, and quite frankly expect more as time passes. Hospitals are in trouble, this new healthcare act, it’s reduction in hospital reimbursement, and the new extra tax on medical equipment, is going to make things even worse.

    I am thankful that I am currently not working as an RT, or in any capacity in the health care field. Things really stink right now, and only going to get worse. I have witnessed a decline in patient care over the last 3 years. Things decline exponentially the more government involvement you have. I have friends that are still working, and they inform me of what is going on.

    As far as Respiratory Care as a profession, I think it’s awesome. I practiced from 1973 up until last November. So I have seen the profession go from the development of IMV to where it is today. My experience during these years showed me one thing, my job, my profession, is what I make out of it.

    I have worked in all specialty areas, neo, critical care, cath lab, non-invasive cardiology, hyperbarics, sleep, and diagnostic lab. In addition, I have been a shift supervisor, department director of 2 departments, and program director of 2 schools. I taught for several years, 14 of which were as a part time classroom instructor, while working full time at the hospital. I also owned 3 respiratory therapy departments in the latter 70s (hospital contract service – this doesn’t exist anymore), and I also owned a DME company. So pretty much I have worked in all aspects of the profession.

    As an RT I worked in several progressive hospitals, where RTs were not only respected, but were an integral part of the hospital. Our medical directors trusted us, and we made many decisions, which in some hospitals, were simply not allowed. I also worked in some hospitals where the RTs were lazy. The proverbial BS “this patient doesn’t need this”, or “doesn’t need that” was rampant. These very same folks were either on the internet, on their cell phones, or in the cafeteria. Departments where such activity happens are extremely poor examples of what a real RT deparment is. I have worked in both, and I know the difference.

    You can’t blame the profession for the shortcomings of others. Neither can you say that all departments operate in that fashion, or that the profession stinks.

    My suggestion to you is basically this. If you are unhappy where you work, get the hell out, if all the departments where you live are like that, relocate. Do yourself a favor. Prior to taking a job, interview the director, then decide whether that particular department is a fit for you. If it isn’t, then don’t accept the position. When you are good, you can be picky.

    My suggestion to department directors that have the negativity, is to fire everyone, and start from the ground up. Negative attitudes are unacceptable and do nothing but bring down the department, not only within it’s walls, but in the hospital in general. Other healthcare workers within the hospital see attitudes, probably more so than the RTs themselves, and so do hospital administrators.